The U.S. labor market continues to flex its muscle as applications for jobless claims fell again last week and remain at healthy levels in the face of high interest rates and inflation.

Applications for unemployment benefits dropped by 11,000 to 239,000 for the week ending August 12, down from 250,000 the previous week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The four-week moving average of claims, which softens some of the week-to-week volatility, rose by 2,750 to 234,250.

Jobless claim applications are seen as a proxy for the number of layoffs in a given week.

Overall, 1.72 million people were collecting unemployment benefits the week that ended August 5, about 32,000 more than the previous week.