• From the Associated Press:
"The labor market continues to defy Federal Reserve attempts to cool hiring, with US applications for unemployment benefits down again last week and remaining at historically low levels.
"Jobless claims in the US for the week ending March 18 fell by 1,000 to 191,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday.
"The four-week moving average of claims, which flattens out some of week-to-week volatility, fell by 250 to 196,250, remaining below the 200,000 threshold for the ninth straight week.
"Applications for unemployment benefits are seen as a barometer for layoffs in the US."
• Fast Company reports that New York's iconic Magnolia Bakery, which gained fame when it showed up in movies like The Devil Wears Prada and TV shows like "Sex And The City," is going to start showing up in US supermarkets.
"You won’t be able to get all - or even most - of the goodies that you can find in a physical Magnolia Bakery location, Fast Company writes. "As a matter of fact, Magnolia Bakery is starting its grocery adventure with just one treat: the new Banana Pudding Cookie … The cookies come in four-packs, but each is individually wrapped. Starting today, the cookies will be sold at grocery stores across the United States, including at Fresh Market and Harris Teeter locations, and will retail for a suggested price of $7.99 per pack."
The story says that in "announcing the grocery store expansion, Magnolia Bakery cited a recent brand study showing that more than 70% of participants said they’d rather see Magnolia Bakery launch its products in grocery stores than see it open new Magnolia Bakery locations near them." And, "If the grocery store near you doesn’t stock Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding Cookies yet, you can also order them right from Amazon."
• Shake Shack, which first opened in New York as an experiment in 2004 and has turned into a chain with 290 locations in 32 U.S. states, and 150 international locations, said this week that it will open its first two units in Canada.
The CBC reports that it will "partner with two Toronto-based investment firms — Osmington Inc. and Harlo Entertainment Inc. — to open its first Canadian location in 2024." The first two are set to be in Toronto, but "the chain says it plans to have up to 35 locations across the country by 2035."