Initial jobless claims fell 4.6% last week to 434,000, which is the lowest rate in a few months and well below most analysts' estimates. The Labor Department said the seasonally adjusted figure of actual initial claims for the week ended Oct. 23 decreased by 21,000 from the previous week's figure of 455,000, which was revised upward a few thousand. Analysts surveyed by Econoday expected claims to rise to 455,000 with a range of estimates from 440,000 to 460,000. A survey put the number of jobless claims at 450,000, and economists polled by MarketWatch expected 450,000, as well. The four-week moving average declined about 1% to 453,250 claims from a revised average of 458,750, according to the Labor Department data. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was once again 3.5%, down slightly from a revised 3.6%. Write to Jason Philyaw.