Initial jobless claims fell more than economists expected the week ended Sept. 4, dropping by 27,000 filings to a two-month low of 451,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Continuing claims for the week ended Aug. 28 declined to 4.478 million. Economists forecast 470,000 initial claims for unemployment benefits and 4.450 million continuing claims, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, a less volatile measure of jobless filings, fell to 477,750 from 487,000 the previous week. The four-week average for continuing claims dropped to 4.488 million from 4.491 million.

Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, said the decline in new claims was “somewhat reassuring.”

“We really need to see claims in the 350,000 range, however, to see much employment growth,” she said.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.