New claims for US unemployment insurance tumbled last week to the lowest level in 10 months, government data showed on Thursday in a report suggesting the troubled jobs market is stabilizing.
The Labor Department said the number of people filing initial claims for jobless benefits fell to 381,000 in the holiday-shortened week ending December 3.
Government offices were closed Thursday for Thanksgiving Day.
The weekly claims number was the lowest since the week ending February 26.
The Labor Department upwardly revised the prior week's reading by 2,000 to 404,000.
The report appeared to confirm a downward turn in claims.
The four-week moving average last week fell by 3,000 to 393,250, the lowest reading since early April.
The unemployment rate sank to a 32-month low of 8.6 percent in November, down from 9.0 percent in October.