Weekly initial jobless claims decreased slightly last week to 450,000, which is the lowest level since July and roughly in line with consensus analysts' estimates. The Labor Department said seasonally adjusted initial claims for the week ended Sept. 11 declined 3,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 453,000. Analysts surveyed by Econoday were projecting an increase to 455,000 claims, although estimates ranged from 450,000 to 481,000. A Briefing.com survey put the figure at 440,000. The four-week moving average of 464,750 claims is about 2.8% lower than the prior week's revised average of 478,250, according to the Labor Department data. But some states didn't report jobless claims data to the department the prior week because of the Labor Day holiday and that may be distorting this week's figures somewhat. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate remained relatively unchanged at 3.5% for the week ended Sept. 4, down from a revised 3.6% the prior week. The number of people filing for emergency unemployment benefits for the week ended Aug. 28 fell nearly 9% to about 4.1 million from the week earlier. Although that figure is 29% higher than a year ago. Write to Jason Philyaw.