There were 308,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, up 1,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reported Thursday morning.
That means claims continue to run at a relatively low rate that until recent weeks hadn't been seen since the spring of 2007 — six months before the start of the 2007-09 recession.
Bloomberg News adds that the scant increase was less than economists expected. They thought the agency would say there had been at least 315,000 applications.
Reuters says the news is "a signal of growing strength in the labor market."
The claims data are collected by state agencies, which apparently explains why they were released Thursday even though the Labor Department has said it won't be issuing key economic reports as long as the partial government shutdown continues. Among those not expected to be released: Friday's scheduled report on job growth and unemployment in September.