A new sign the job market may be improving slightly.
The government says fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week.
First-time filers for unemployment benefits fell to 409,000.
That's down 12,000.
However, anything above 400,000 signals a weak jobs market.
Unemployment claims from striking Verizon workers had pushed the figure up substantially for two weeks in a row.
The government's weekly unemployment claims report comes a day ahead of an even more anticipated monthly jobs report due tomorrow.