New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits held steady last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, a fresh sign of stabilization in the pace of layoffs.
Initial jobless claims stood at 374,000 in the week ended August 25, the same as in the upwardly revised number of the prior week, the department reported.
Jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, were at their highest level since mid-July. Most analysts had expected a decline to 370,000.
The four-week moving average, which reduces week-to-week volatility, rose for a second straight week, to 370,250, an increase of 1,500 from the previous week.
For months, claims have moved in a narrow range, suggesting a stabilization in layoffs amid weak hiring.
More than three years after the Great Recession, the world's largest economy continues to struggle with tepid growth and high unemployment.
The jobless rate ticked up to 8.3 percent in July and the United States added 163,000 jobs, slightly more than needed to absorb the expansion of the working age population.