Weekly unemployment claims have not been fewer than 320,000 since before the recession. They were at 316,000 in the week that ended Oct. 3, 2007.
The current four-week moving average fell by 4,000 to 332,000, BLS reported.
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending Aug. 3 were in California, which added 3,715, Ohio, which gained 1,270 and Texas, which gained 1,151.
The largest decreases were in Oregon, Illinois and New Jersey with declines of 1,638, 999 and 762, respectively.