Weekly applications fell 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 409,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the first decline in three weeks.
A strike by Verizon workers drove applications higher during the previous two weeks. The strike has ended and is no longer affecting applications.
The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose last week to 410,250. Still, that was mostly because of the strike. It has come down from 440,250 in May.
Applications typically need to drop below 375,000 to signal sustainable job growth. They haven't been at that level since February.