The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength and firming economic growth.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 258,000 for the week ended Oct. 22, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
That marked 86 straight weeks that claims have been below the 300,000 threshold, which is normally associated with a strong job market. That is the longest stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller.
Claims for the prior week were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast first-time applications for jobless benefits falling to 255,000 in the latest week.
A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing last week's data and that no states had been estimated.