The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose to near a three-month high last week, but remained below a level associated with a strong labor market.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 for the week ended Oct. 29, the highest level since early August, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were unrevised.
It was the 87th consecutive week that claims remained below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market. That is the longest stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast first-time applications for jobless benefits would be unchanged at 258,000 in the latest week.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday left interest rates steady but said its monetary policy-setting committee "judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has continued to strengthen."
The U.S. central bank is widely expected to increase its overnight benchmark interest rate in December, but the decision could depend on the outcome of the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election.
The tightening of the race between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump has rattled financial markets. The Fed raised borrowing costs last December for the first time in nearly a decade.
On Wednesday, the central bank offered a fairly upbeat assessment of the labor market, inflation and the broader economy.