First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly decreased in the week ended September 27th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.
The report said initial jobless claims fell to 287,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week's revised level of 295,000.
The pullback came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to climb to 297,000 from the 293,000 originally reported for the previous week.
The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also edged down to 294,750, a decrease of 4,250 from the previous week's revised average of 299,000.
With the decrease, the four-week moving average fell to its lowest level since hitting its post-recession low of 293,750 in the week ended August 2nd.