The number of Americans initially applying for unemployment aid edged up slightly last week and remained near a pre-recession low, the Labor Department said Thursday.
In the week ending June 28, the advance figure of seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits rose by 2,000 to 315,000, largely in line with economists' expectation of 314,000, the data released by the department showed.
Meanwhile, the four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of the underlying trend of labor market conditions, increased by 500 to 315,000, just above a seven-year low of 310,500 reached a month ago.
The advance figure of seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending June 21 stood at 2.58 million, an increase of 11,000 from the previous week's revised level.
The Labor Department also said the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate declined to 6.1 percent, the lowest level in almost six years, indicating that the job market was steadily improving.