New applications for unemployment benefits fell to 271,000 in the second week of November, the Department of Labor reported Thursday morning, reversing two weeks of noticeably higher weekly claims.

Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected first-time jobless claims to drift down to 270,000.

The rise in claims for unemployment benefits over the previous two weeks was still enough to raise the monthly average by 3,000 to 270,750. Nevertheless, jobless claims remaine extremely low: That average is the lowest since the turn of the century, when the labor force was much smaller.

Overall, the jobless claims show few signs that the jobs recovery is weakening.

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