Initial jobless claims near 7-year low

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WASHINGTON — Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to near a seven-year low last week, the Labor Department said Thursday.

About 304,000 people filed for first-time benefits in the week ended Saturday, down 11,000 from the previous week.

It was the fewest new claims since the week ended May 24 and near the post-recession low of 298,000 earlier in May.