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FILE- In this Aug. 22, 2012 file photo, Judy Smith, of Dalton, Ga., looks over paperwork as she files for unemployment for the first time since being laid off from a catering job at a convention center in Dalton, Ga. Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, and a private survey showed businesses stepped up hiring in August. The data sketched a brighter outlook for the job market one day before the government reports on August employment.

David Goldman / Associated Press