Claims unexpectedly fell to 323,000 from last week's revised reading of 327,000.
This is the lowest level since January 2008.
Economists were expecting claims to rise to 335,000 from a preliminary reading of 324,000.
The 4-week moving average fell to 336,750 from 343,000 a week ago.
The Department of Labor added that no states estimated their claims and there was nothing unusual in the data, so this is a clean number.
"Today's jobless claims report is the most important release in what is a quiet week for U.S. data," says High Frequency Economics' Jim O'Sullivan. "While weekly readings can be erratic, the claims series remains a key momentum indicator for the labor market."
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