Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week, but the drop wasn't enough to reverse a big increase the previous week.
The Labor Department says initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 452,000.
The decline comes after the department substantially revised the previous week's figure to show a rise of 26,000. That was double the increase initially reported. The revision occurred after several states that had estimated their totals from two weeks ago subsequently found that claims were higher than estimated.
As a result, even with last week's drop, claims are slightly higher than earlier this month.