That figure, which was released Monday, is down 15 percent from last August. It is the lowest of any month since August 1998.
Initial claims are down 3 percent from September 2016, when they were 9,358. September marks the seasonal low point of the year. The overall trend, best represented by the 12-month average, is at a post-recession low of 11,083 claims per month.
An initial claim represents the first stage of filing for unemployment benefits and is therefore most closely related to the number of people who have recently lost their jobs, not the overall level of unemployment.