Last week's drop followed a decrease of 14,000 the preceding week.
The four-week rolling average decreased 1,250 from the previous week's 356,250, Labor said.
The biggest increases in initial jobless claims for the week ended March 10 were in Kentucky (up 742), Puerto Rico (up 643), Alabama (up 475), North Carolina (up 471) and Tennessee (up 457).
The biggest decreases were recorded in New York (down 14,222), California (down 4,696), Illinois (down 1,290), Florida (down 1,215) and Pennsylvania (down 1,129).
The U.S. unemployment rate was 8.3 percent in February, unchanged from January.