First-time jobless benefit claims declined by 1,000 in the week ending Saturday with 404,000 claims filed, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week rolling average for claims filed was 408,000, down 7,000 from the previous revised average, the department said. In September, the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent, unchanged from July and August. In the week ending Oct. 1, North Carolina had the largest increase in first-time jobless claims with 3,354. Alabama had the largest decrease in claims for the week with 1,883 fewer claims filed.