The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, pointing to a sustained improvement in labor market conditions.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000 for the week ended Aug. 16, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Claims for the prior week were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims slipping to 300,000 last week. A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing the state level data.