Initial claims for state unemployment benefits
dropped 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 287,000 in the week ended
Sept. 27, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Claims for the prior week were revised to show 2,000 more
applications received than previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to
297,000 last week.
Claims have fallen steadily since the nation emerged from the
2007-09 recession and are currently lower than they were before
the country's economic crisis began.
The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better
measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week
volatility, fell 4,250 to 294,750.
The Labor Department said there were no special factors
influencing the state level data.
The data has no bearing on Friday's government report on monthly
employment during September because the hiring survey was
conducted earlier in the month. Economists expect companies
stepped up the pace of hiring last month, adding 215,000 workers
The jobless claims report showed the number of people still
receiving benefits after an initial week of aid dropped 45,000
to 2.40 million in the week ended Sept. 20.
(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Andrea Ricci)
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