New stats on Americans collecting unemployment insurance confirm that the labor market continues to be in good shape.
Initial weekly jobless claims fell to 291,000 from last week's revised level of 293,000.
Economists had forecast a 284,000 level.
The four-week moving average was low at 287,500.
Continuing claims fell to 2.33 million from 2.40 million a week ago.
"This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since December 16, 2000, when it was 2,322,000," the Department of Labor noted. "The 4-week moving average was 2,369,000, a decrease of 6,250 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since January 13, 2001, when it was 2,360,500."
"Despite disappointing expectations slightly with its weekly print, the trend in claims remains consistent with labor market improvements and hovering near 14-year lows," BNP Paribas economist Derek Lindsey said.
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