Initial jobless claims edged up 0.6% to 315,000 for the week ending June 28, according to a Labor Department report released today.
After dropping a revised 0.3% the previous week, this newest report came in just above analysts' expectations of 314,000 claims.
From a more long-term perspective, a 0.2% increase in the four-week moving average to an identical 315,000 initial claims serves as a reminder that the labor market recovery is not roaring ahead. Of the past 10 reports, five of them have included increases in the four-week moving average.
Still, both the latest week's claims and the four-week average fall significantly below 400,000, a cutoff point that economists consider a sign of an improving labor market.
On a state-by-state basis, four states recorded a decrease of more than 1,000 initial claims for the week ending June 21 (most recent available data). Pennsylvania saw the largest decline (-1,590), citing fewer transportation, food service, and construction layoffs as reasons for its improvement.
For the same period, six states registered increases of more than 1,000 initial claims. New Jersey saw the biggest jump in jobless claims, with educational service layoffs contributing to its 3,240-claim increase.