The number of initial jobless claims fell about 2% last week but remain stubbornly higher than 400,000. The Labor Department said the seasonally adjusted figure of actual initial claims for the week ended Sept. 17 decreased by 9,000 to 423,000 from 432,000 the previous week, which was revised upward 4,000. For the same week a year ago, 463,000 initial claims were filed. Analysts surveyed by Econoday expected 420,000 new jobless claims last week with a range of estimates between 415,000 and 430,000. Most economists believe weekly jobless claims lower than 400,000 indicate the economy is expanding and jobs growth is strengthening. The four-week moving average, which is considered a less volatile indicator than weekly claims, inched higher last week to 421,000 from the prior week's 420,500. The earlier week figure was revised upward by more than 10,000 claims. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate for the week ended Sept. 10 stayed at 3%, according to the Labor Department. The total number of people receiving some sort of federal unemployment benefits for the week ended Sept. 3 fell by more than 250,000 to about 6.89 million from 7.15 million the prior week. Write to Jason Philyaw. Follow him on Twitter: @jrphilyaw