A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits increased in line with economist estimates in the week ended July 13th.
The report said initial jobless claims inched up to 216,000, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week's revised level of 208,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to creep up to 216,000 from the 209,000 originally reported for the previous week.
The uptick came after the drop seen in the previous week pulled jobless claims down to their lowest level since hitting a nearly 50-year low in the week ended April 13th.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average edged down to 218,750, a decrease of 250 from the previous week's revised average of 219,000.
The report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also fell by 42,000 to 1.686 million in the week ended July 6th.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims still rose to 1,701,000, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week's revised average of 1,696,000.