Jobless claims for the week ending Nov. 17 fell by 41,000 filings to 410,000 claims, the Labor Department said Wednesday.
That is down from the previous week's revised figure of 451,000 claims.
The four-week moving average equaled 396,250 filings, an increase of 9,500 applications from the previous average of 386,750 claims.
Analysts with Econoday suggest it's difficult to get an accurate weekly reading of jobless claims due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy.
"Initial claims fell back 41,000 in the November 17 week to 410,000 with the prior week revised yet higher to 451,000," Econoday said. "Market News International reports that the Labor Department has no handle on the magnitude or the duration of the storm effect. The Labor Department is warning that there may be excess claims due to the storm."