The numbers: Initial jobless claims fell by 17,000 to 232,000 in the week ended Feb. 19, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had estimated new claims would slip to 235,000.
Key details: The number of people already collecting jobless benefits fell by 112,000 to 1.48 million in the week ended Feb. 12. These so-called continuing claims are at their lowest level since March 1970.
Big picture: Claims had risen to a three-week high in the prior week, but the gain was just a blip higher.
Overall, the labor market is seen as very tight and economists think claims will continue to move lower.