New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits rose last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday, a day ahead of the much-anticipated September job market report.
Initial jobless claims, an indicator of the pace of layoffs, rose by 10,000 to 277,000 in the week ending September 26.
The weekly claims reading has remained below 300,000 since March as the labor market steadily improves. The four-week moving average, which helps strip out volatility, fell by 1,000 to 270,750. A year ago the average was 296,250.
"The improving trend suggests US businesses are taking the volatility in financial markets and concerns about the global economy in stride," said Ryan Sweet of Moody's Analytics.
"New and continuing claims suggest that the job market continues to tighten quickly and that full employment may be closer than we anticipate," Sweet said.
Analysts expect the Labor Department to report Friday that the US economy added 205,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.1 percent, a seven-year low.