A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended October 5th.
The report said initial jobless claims dropped to 210,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's revised level of 220,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to come in unchanged compared to the 219,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average crept up to 213,750, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week's revised average of 212,750.
The report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also rose by 29,000 to 1.684 million in the week ended September 28th.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims also edged up to 1,665,000, an increase of 2,500 from the previous week's revised average of 1,662,500.
A separate report released by the Labor Department last Friday showed the unemployment rate fell to a nearly fifty-year low in September despite weaker than expected job growth during the month.
The report said non-farm payroll employment rose by 136,000 jobs in September compared to economist estimates for an increase of about 145,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent in September from 3.7 percent in August. Economists had expected to unemployment rate to remain unchanged.
With the unexpected decrease, the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level since hitting a matching rate in December of 1969.