But it could rise in the coming weeks as a partial strike by the United Auto Workers union forces carmakers to temporarily lay off workers over shortages of some materials.

The Labor Department said on Thursday that first-time applications for state unemployment benefits fell by 20,201 to 16,<> after adjusting for seasonal factors in the week ending Sept. <>.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the number of applications to hit 225,<> in the most recent week.

The U.S. economy added more new jobs in August than expected, boosting bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve could halt rate hikes.

U.S. Labor Department data showed the number of nonfarm payrolls reached 187,170, versus expectations that the private sector would add <>,<> jobs last month.

The unemployment rate in the world's largest economy rose more than expected to 3.8 percent, the highest level since February 2022, versus expectations that it will remain unchanged at 3.5 percent.