WASHINGTON — Seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims fell to 381,000 for the week ending Dec. 3, a 23,000 decrease from the previous week’s revised level of 404,000 and the lowest level since Feb. 26, when claims were 375,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Continuing claims dropped to 3.583 million for the week ending Nov. 26, 174,000 less than the previous week’s revised figure of 3.757 million and the lowest level since Sept. 20, 2008, when continuing claims were 3.564 million.

The 381,000 initial claims were lower than the median 395,000 projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters and the 3.583 million of continuing claims were much lower than the median 3.700 million level they estimated.

The four-week moving average for initial claims was 393,250, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 396,250.

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