Initial jobless claims fell 29,000 to 409,000 last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Claims for the week ended Saturday fell to to 409,000. Economists had forecast the rate to rise to 420,000, Bloomberg reported.
The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, rose to 439,000, from 437,000.
The number of people continuing to collect jobless benefits dropped by 81,000 for the previous week ended May 7, to 3.71 million, Labor said.
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