The number of Americans initially applying for unemployment aid rose last week from the previous week's eight-year low level.
In the week ending July 26, the advance figure of seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits increased to 302,000, up 23,000 from the revised level of the previous week. The previous week's level was revised down by 5,000 to 279,000, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday.
Meanwhile, the four-week moving average, which helps smooth out week-to-week volatility, edged down by 3,500 to 297,250 last week. The advance figure of seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending July 19 increased 31,000 from the previous week to 2,539,000.
In the eyes of economists, initial claims for jobless benefits reflect the latest firings in a week. A decrease or keeping at a low level is a good signal for job market.
U.S. private companies added 218,000 jobs in July, the fourth straight month of job growth above 200,000, said the National Employment Report released jointly by Automatic Data Processing (ADP) and Moody's Analytics, based on a monthly survey.
The Labor Department said earlier this month that the non-farm payroll employment increased by 288,000 in June. The unemployment rate declined from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent, the lowest level since September 2008, indicating that the job market was improving.