Still not bad.
The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly claims numbers, increased to 284,750 last week from 282,750. The last time the average exceeding 280,000 for at least three consecutive weeks was in April.
The number of applications dropped as low as 255,000 in mid-July, the lowest in four decades.
The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits fell by 18,000 to 2.26 million in the week ended Jan. 23. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.7 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.