The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, drifting back to near 42-year lows as labor market conditions continue to tighten.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 260,000 for the week ended Nov. 21, the Labor Department said on Wednesday.
The prior week's claims were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.
Claims have now held below the 300,000 threshold for 38 consecutive weeks, the longest stretch in years, and remain close to levels last seen in the early 1970s. Claims below this level are usually associated with a healthy jobs market.