The number of Americans filing jobless claims last week rose more than expected to the highest weekly level in 11 weeks, though still at a level indicating steady job growth. First-time claims for unemployment benefits climbed by 21,000, to 313,000, in the week ended last Saturday, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

It's the first time such claims have exceeded 300,000 since September. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected 288,000 jobless claims. The four-week moving average rose by 6,250, to 294,000.

Despite the spike, jobless claims are at a postrecession low. Unemployment claims peaked above 600,000 in 2009.