New claims for US unemployment benefits rose modestly for a third straight week last week, but remained near an historically low level, the government said Thursday.
Initial jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, rose to 274,000 in the week ending August 8, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week's level, the Labor Department reported.
The four-week moving average of claims stood at 266,250, a decrease of 1,750 from the previous week's average and the lowest level for this benchmark since April 2000.
The report continues "to show no sign of an uptrend, consistent with a still-strong trend in employment growth," said Jim O'Sullivan, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics.
Despite the uptick in claims last week, the four-week average remains low from a historical perspective, said a note from Jesse Hurwitz of Barclays.
"Taken together, the details of this morning's report support our view that labor market conditions have recovered to their two-decade average," said Hurwitz.