Initial claims for jobless benefits declined slightly for the week ending July 30, according to data released by the Labor Department on Thursday.
The number of seasonally adjusted initial claims fell to 400,000 from an upwardly revised 401,000 for the previous week, which had initially been reported at 398,000. Jobless claims have not dropped below the key 400,000 threshold, which economists say is needed to dent unemployment, since early April.
The 4-week moving average, a less-volatile gauge of labor market health, decreased by 6,750 to 407,750 from the previous week’s revised 414,500.
The Labor Department will release its July employment report on Friday. The ADP National Employment Report, seen as a predictor—albeit an imperfect one—of the Friday report, said Wednesday that the economy added 114,000 jobs to private payrolls in July.