There were 360,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits filed last week, up 16,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.
The "four-week moving average," which gives a sense of the recent trend, "was 351,750, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week's revised average of 345,750."
Bloomberg News says one reason for the rise is seasonal: "Swings in jobless applications are typical in July as auto plants close for annual retooling." It adds that "claims are difficult to adjust in July for seasonal events such as vehicle plant shutdowns and the Independence Day holiday, a Labor Department spokesman said as the data were released."
Even with the increase, claims stayed in the 350,000-to-400,000 range, where they've mostly been since late 2011.