Unemployment applications down below 400K

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WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits fell below 400,000 last week for the first time since early April, as jobless claims continued on a slow downward trajectory.

Initial claims dropped by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 395,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Initial claims from two weeks ago were revised to 402,000, up from 400,000 originally.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected new applications to rise to 410,000 in the week ended Aug. 6. The average of new claims over the last four weeks, viewed as a more accurate gauge of employment trends, fell by 3,250 to 405,000, the lowest level since mid-April.

Full story: Applications for jobless benefits decline