New U.S. jobless claims stay near 5-year lows


WASHINGTON — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits remained near the lowest level in more than five years last week, a sign that companies are cutting few jobs.

First-time applications for benefits fell 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 331,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, inched up 750 to 331,250 after falling to its lowest level since November, 2007, the previous week.