The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits fell last week, and layoffs in December were the smallest in more than 15 years, indicating labor market strength even as economic growth appears to have slowed sharply in the fourth quarter (New York Times).

Massachusetts is the most innovative state, with California scoring a close second and Washington, New Jersey and Connecticut rounding out the top five states, according to the data compiled by Bloomberg. Mississippi, West Virginia and South Dakota are the three least innovative states (Bloomberg).