The figure fell by 12,000 from last weeks revised figure of 440,000, more or less in line with analysts? expectations.
The four-week moving average of jobless claims, a better indicator of employment, increased to 424,500, its highest level in almost nine years.
The largest increases in initial claims for the previous week, the latest week for which data is available, were in Ohio, due to layoffs in various industries throughout the state and Kentucky, which reported layoffs in the non-electrical machinery, transportation equipment, primary metals and the apparel industry.
The effect of this data on the markets was overshadowed by the release of May’s Producer Price Index figure, which increased by 0.1%, following a 0.3% rise the previous month.