Seasonally adjusted initial claims for U.S. unemployment benefits climbed to 215,000 in the week ended May 25 from the prior week's revised 212,000, data from the U.S. Department of Labor showed.
The Econoday consensus estimate was for a 215,000 reading.
The four-week moving average declined to 216,750 from the prior four-week upwardly revised average of 220,500.
The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate, which measures the proportion of the labor force receiving unemployment benefits, was unchanged at 1.2% for the week ended May 18.
Insured unemployment fell to 1,657,000 from the upwardly revised 1,683,000 in the prior week.