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September 6, 2012
David Goldman photo

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 photo

In this Aug. 22, 2012 file photo, Scott Marshall, top, of Calhoun, Ga., files for unemployment, 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.