Seasonally adjusted initial claims for U.S. unemployment benefits declined to 209,000 in the week ended Aug. 3 from the prior week's upwardly revised 217,000, data from the U.S. Labor Department showed.
The Econoday consensus estimate was for a reading of 215,000 in the week ended Aug. 3.
The four-week moving average rose to 212,250 from the previous week's upwardly revised four-week moving average of 212,000.
The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate, which measures the proportion of the labor force receiving unemployment benefits, was unchanged at 1.2% for the week ended July 27.
Insured unemployment in the week ended July 27 fell to 1,684,000 from an unrevised level of 1,699,000 recorded in the previous week.