Initial claims for U.S. unemployment benefits came in at 222,000 in the week that ended May 12, an increase of 11,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 211,000, the U.S. Department of Labor said.
Claims compared to an Econoday consensus forecast of 215,000.
The four-week moving average fell 2,750 to 213,250 from an unrevised average of 216,000, marking its lowest level since Dec. 13, 1969.
Claims procedures continue to be disrupted in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, according to the Labor Department.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate slipped 0.1 percentage point to 1.2% for the week that ended May 5. Insured unemployment during that week decreased 87,000 to 1,707,000 from the previous week's revised level of 1,794,000.