Both initial jobless and continuing claims fall

Modest progress this week on the employment front: Initial jobless claims fell 33,000 to 521,000 for the week ending Oct. 3, the U.S. Labor Department announced Thursday.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected initial jobless claims to total to 540,000 this week. A year ago, initial jobless claims were 478,000. The four-week moving average for initial jobless claims decreased 9,000 to 539,750. Also, continuing claims fell 72,000 to 6.04 million.