WASHINGTON — Fewer Americans applied for unemployment claims last week, another sign of strength in the job market.

Weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 11,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 271,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The less volatile 4-week average was essentially unchanged at 271,000. Unemployment claims have remained near historic lows for the past nine months.

The numbers show that most American workers are enjoying job security. The number of weekly claims for unemployment benefits amounts to a proxy for layoffs. And another Labor report shows that layoffs have dropped to well below where they were before the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

Employers have been adding a healthy 210,000 jobs a month so far this year with unemployment last month staying at a seven-year low 5 percent.