Applications for jobless benefits fell by 24,000 for the week ending May 10, bringing the total to 297,000, down from last week’s revised figure of 321,000, the Labor Department announced Thursday.

This is the lowest unemployment aid posting since May 12, 2007, since before President Barack Obama took office.

The four-week moving average, a “less volatile” figure, fell 2,000 to 323,250, down from last week’s revised figure of 325,250.

There were no unexpected factors that affected this week’s unemployment benefits number, the government said.

Fewer people are also receiving benefits each week. The number of recipients fell to 2.67 million, the fewest since Dec. 1, 2007, when the recession began,” the Associated Press reported.

“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0 percent for the week ending May 3, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 3 was 2,667,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week’s revised level,” the Labor Department report read.

“The previous week’s level was revised down by 9,000 from 2,685,000 to 2,676,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,694,500, a decrease of 18,500 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since December 15, 2007 when it was 2,670,500. The previous week’s average was revised down by 2,250 from 2,715,250 to 2,713,000,” the report added.

The states with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending May 3 were n Pennsylvania (+1,403), Texas (+1,147), Illinois (+646), Iowa (+540) and Maryland (+500).

Meanwhile, New York (-20,637), California (-3,713), New Jersey (-2,565), Connecticut (-1,609) and Massachusetts (-1,277) posted the largest decreases in initial claims.

Markets are poised to open mixed Thursday:

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