The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell as expected last week, suggesting a strengthening in job gains in August after a slight pullback the prior month.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 331,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to fall to 332,000 last week.
A Labor Department analyst said no states had been estimated and there was nothing unusual in the state-level data.