The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength in early August that could help spur faster economic growth.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 266,000 for the week ended Aug. 6, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 2,000 fewer applications received than previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast initial claims declining to 265,000 in the latest week. A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing last week's claims data and no states had been estimated.
Claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with a strong labor market, for 75 consecutive weeks, the longest streak since 1973.