The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits stayed at a 43-year low last week in the latest sign that layoffs are scarce.
THE NUMBERS: Unemployment benefit applications were unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 246,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell 3,500 to 249,250.
Both figures were at their lowest levels since November 1973.
The number of people receiving aid fell 16,000 to just over 2 million. That is the fewest since June 2000.
THE TAKEAWAY: Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the figures indicate that companies are cutting very few jobs. With the unemployment rate down to 5%, from 10%...