Seasonally adjusted initial claims for U.S. unemployment benefits advanced to 215,000 in the week ended July 27 from the prior week's upwardly revised 207,000, data from the U.S. Labor Department showed.
The Econoday consensus estimate was for a reading of 214,000.
The four-week moving average declined to 211,500 from the previous week's upwardly revised four-week moving average of 213,250.
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 July 20.
Insured unemployment in the week ended July 20 rose to 1,699,000 from an upwardly revised 1,677,000 recorded in the previous week.