Business

Business Digest

Fewer Americans than forecast applied for unemployment benefits last week, indicating companies are reluctant to fire more workers even as the economy slows.

First-time jobless claims fell 9,000 to 365,000, from a revised 374,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said Thursday in Washington. The total number of people collecting benefits was unchanged at a four-year high of 3.073 million for the week ended May 10.

The figures signal that companies are responding to the current economic slowdown by cutting back on hiring rather than letting go of more staff, in contrast to previous downturns. Bloomberg News

McDonald's said Thursday its french fries are now trans-fat-free in all its restaurants in the United States and Canada, catching it up with its fast-food rivals in that category.

CEO Jim Skinner made it official at its annual shareholders meeting at McDonald's Corp. headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill.

McDonald's has lagged other restaurant operators in switching over to a zero-trans-fat cooking oil out of worries it would compromise the taste of its trademark fries. It has been under increasing pressure from consumer advocates and some public officials to make the change, but it did so quietly.

Skinner said McDonald's is on schedule to convert to the new oil by year's end for its remaining baked items, pies and cookies. Associated Press

  Comments