WASHINGTON — Initial jobless claims dropped 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 395,000 for the week ending Aug. 6, the lowest level since early April, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Continuing claims fell to 3.688 million for the week ending July 30, the lowest level since April 16.
Economists expected 400,000 initial claims and 3.72 million continuing claims, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.
Initial claims for the week ending July 30 were revised to 402,000 from 405,000 reported last week. Continuing claims for the week ending July 23 were revised to 3.748 million from 3.700 million.
The four week-moving average of initial claims, a less volatile figure, declined to 405,000 for the week ending Aug. 6. The four-week average for continuing claims dropped to 3.718 million.
States reported fewer auto-related layoffs in the last week of July. Both Tennessee and Michigan reported claims fell by more than 3,000, partly due to fewer auto-related layoffs. In all, nine states and Puerto Rico reported a decline of more than 1,000 claims for the week ending July 30.