initial jobless claims
A man holds his briefcase at a job fair in New York. The underlying trend in the labor market points to a strengthening labor market, new data show. Reuters

More Americans than forecast filed applications for new jobless benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, a sign that the labor market is still struggling to create enough jobs.

In the week ending Saturday, applications for unemployment insurance payments slipped 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 382,000. The prior week's figure, which was pushed up by Tropical Storm Isaac, was revised up to show 3,000 more applications than previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims would dip to 375,000 last week.

The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, rose 2,000 to 377,750. That’s the highest level since June and the fifth consecutive weekly increase in the measure.