Initial jobless claims dropped to 280,000 for the week ending Sept. 13, dramatically better than expectations of 305,000, the lowest since 2000.

The prior week was upwardly revised leaving a 36,000 drop this week - the biggest percentage drop in nine years.

The rolling four-week average, considered a better measure because it avoids week-to-week volatility in the weekly measure, came in below 300,000.

Continuing claims also continue to move lower. Continuing claims, in lagging data for the September 6 week, fell 63,000 to a new recovery low of 2.429 million.

The continuing claims four-week average is down 18,000 to 2.482 million, also a recovery low. And the unemployment rate for insured workers is also at a recovery low, down 1 tenth to 1.8%.