Initial jobless claims fell almost 3% last week, but remain elevated. The Labor Department said the seasonally adjusted figure of actual initial claims for the week ended Aug. 27 decreased by 12,000 to 409,000 from 421,000 the previous week, which was revised upward 4,000. Analysts surveyed by Econoday expected 407,000 new jobless claims last week with a range of estimates between 400,000 and 420,000. 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, rose by 1,750 to 410,250 from the prior week's 408,550. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate for the week ended Aug. 20 stayed at 3%, according to the Labor Department. The total number of people receiving some sort of federal unemployment benefits for the week ended Aug. 20 rose to about 7.33 million from 7.29 million the prior week. Write to Jason Philyaw. Follow him on Twitter: @jrphilyaw