Unemployment claims fell by 6,000 applications to 361,000 new filings for the week ending Aug. 4, compared to the previous week's revised figure of 367,000 filings, the Labor Department said Thursday.
The decline offsets last week's increase in jobless claims when the number of filings grew by 8,000.
Meanwhile, the 4-week moving average hit 368,250 in the most recent report, an increase of 2,250 claims.
By July 21, 5.7 million people were claiming benefits, a decline of 214,367 claims from the previous week.
While the report is more positive than last week's report, analysts with Econoday don't see it boosting overall confidence in the economy.
"This report isn't likely to build much early optimism for the August employment report due to doubts over adjustment issues tied to summer retooling in the auto sector," Econoday analysts wrote. "Still, the Labor Department reports nothing unusual in today's results."