Weekly jobless claims fell to 278,000, while the four-week average of claims tumbled to its lowest level since April 2000.

Expectations were for the report to show that claims totaled 285,000, down slightly from last week's 287,000. 

The four-week moving average of claims also fell further, to 279,000, the lowest level since the average was at 273,000 in April 2000. 

This report also comes a day before Friday's October jobs report. 

Following the report, Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics said: "In one line: Low enough to signal very strong November payrolls ... the levels of claims is now extremely low, close to all-time records, and together with robust survey measures of hiring intentions, it signals very rapid payroll growth."

Shepherdson expects Friday's jobs report to show that nonfarm payrolls grew by 275,000 in October. 

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