Initial jobless claims for the week ending Oct. 27 came in at a seasonally adjusted 363,000, a 9,000 decrease from the previous week's revised number of 372,000 claims. 

After a 15% increase for the week ending Oct. 13, the most recent data reflect a second straight week of decreasing claims. 

Source: Author, data from Department of Labor 

The four-week moving average also fell to 367,250, a slight 1,500 below the previous week's revised number.  

According to economists, weekly initial claims of less than 400,000 serve as evidence of an improving labor market. 

The most recent state-specific data puts North Carolina  with the largest increase in initial claims, with an increase of 2,400 across all sectors, with the largest share in the service industry. Things looked sunnier in California, where fewer layoffs in the service industry drove down claims by almost 16,600. 

The insured unemployment rates continue to hover at 2.5% (3.3 million) for the week ending Oct. 20 (the most recent available data).