The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in two months, suggesting employers remain confident enough in the economy to hold onto their workers. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 264,000. That’s the lowest level since July, when applications plunged to a 41-year low.

Windshield wipers prompt Toyota recall

Toyota is recalling about 421,000 RAV4 vehicles because potential corrosion in their windshield wipers could make them inoperable. The vehicles include model years ranging from 2009 to 2012 and about 2,500 vehicles from model years 2012 to 2014.

Figures could be sign of housing slowdown

Builders broke ground on fewer houses and apartment complexes in August, a sign the housing market may be leveling off. Housing starts last month fell 3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.13 million homes, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Construction activity slowed sharply in the Northeast and Midwest last month. Still, homebuilding appears much stronger than a year ago, and housing starts have climbed a solid 11.3 percent this year.

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