between the March and April survey periods, which suggests an acceleration in job growth.
Job growth averaged about 195,000 per month in February and March, with the unemployment rate holding at near a five-year low of 6.7 percent over that period.
Labor market indicators such as job openings, the duration of unemployment and short-term unemployment, suggest some tightening in conditions.
The health of the labor market will most likely determine when the U.S. central bank will start raising benchmark interest rates, which it has kept near zero since December 2008.
The Fed is expected to conclude its monthly bond buying program later this year and most economists expect the first rate hike will be in the second half of 2015.
The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid dropped 11,000 to 2.74 million in the week ended April 5. That was the lowest level in the so-called continuing claims since December 2007.
"The ongoing improvement in continuing claims remains encouraging amid more positive labor market dynamics, suggesting that workers are not simply leaving the labor force but likely finding gainful employment," said Gennadiy Goldberg, an economist at TD Securities in New York.