By MATT OTT
AP Business Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Slightly more Americans filed for jobless claims last week but the labor market remains one of strongest parts of the U.S. economy. Applications for unemployment benefits rose to 230,000 for the week ending Dec. 3, up by 4,000 from the previous week’s 226,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out week-to-week volatility, rose by 1,000 to 230,000. Jobless claims are seen as a proxy for layoffs, and combined with other employment data, show that American workers are enjoying extraordinary job security at the moment, despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to cool the economy.