U.S initial jobless claims rose less-than-expected for the week ended Nov. 13, after falling sharply to a four-month low in the previous week.

The number of workers seeking unemployment benefits rose 2,000 to 439,000 claims, the U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday.

Markets had expected the claimant count to rise to 442,000.

However, the seasonally adjusted 4-week moving average of initial claims decreased by 4,000 to 443,000.

Also, the number of people already collecting jobless claims dropped 48,000 to 4.29 million for the week ended Nov.6.

North Carolina witnessed the largest increase in claims with an additional 3,277 people filing for unemployment benefits.

However, jobless claims in California, which had the largest increase in the previous week, fell by 162.

In 2010, the weekly jobless claims count ranged from a high of 504,000 to a low of 427,000.

Over the past three years, unemployed Americans collected $319 billion in jobless benefits as the federal government intensified its efforts to recover the economy from the worst recession, said a CNNMoney report said on Wednesday.