US jobless claims edged higher last week, holding close to the pace of the past three months in an echo of the economy's modest growth pace.
New claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of the pace of layoffs, gained 2,000 in the week to August 11 from the previous week's figure, the Labor Department said.
That was close to the four-week moving average of 363,750.
The economy continues to struggle to reduce layoffs and create enough jobs to bring the unemployment rate significantly below the current 8.3 percent rate.
In July the economy generated a net 163,000 new jobs, only a bit above the level needed to meet the natural expansion of the working age population.