FXStreet (Mumbai) - The US labor department data released on Thursday showed the first time applications for unemployment benefits dropped sharply to the lowest in four decades. Monthly average at four decade low Initial unemployment claims dropped by 7,000 to 255,000 in the week ended Oct. 10, compared to the expected figure of 270K. The monthly average now stands at its lowest level since December 1973. The four-week average of claims, which provides a more accurate picture of the Labor market strength, decreased to 265,000 from 267,250 in the prior week. The continuing claims declined by 50,000 to 2.16 million in the week ended Oct. 3, the lowest level since November 2000. For more information, read our latest forex news.