The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week, pointing to a fairly robust labor market.
In a separate report, the Philadelphia Fed Business Conditions Index for November came in at a better-than-expected 1.9 increase, compared with expectations of a drop of 1.0 and a decline of 4.5 a month earlier.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 271,000 for the week ended Nov. 14, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week's claims were unrevised.
Claims have now held below the 300,000 threshold for 37 consecutive weeks, the longest stretch in years, and are not too far from levels last seen in the early 1970s. Claims below this level are usually associated with a healthy jobs market.
Last week's drop in claims was in line with economists' expectations. A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing the data and only claims for Louisiana had been estimated.