Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 35,000 applications for the week ending July 21, the Labor Department said.
The number of claims filed hit 353,000 last week, down from the previous week's revised figure of 388,000. In addition, the 4-week moving average declined by 8,750 applications to 367,250.
"The ups and downs of summer claims aside, this report is a positive for the employment outlook though there's still likely to be plenty of skeptics," analysts with Econoday said Thursday.
The states or U.S. jurisdictions with the highest unemployment rates during the week ending June 7 included the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Alaska, Rhode Island, California, Wisconsin and Oregon.
The largest increases in overall claims for the week ending July 14 occurred in the states of California, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Oregon.