For the first time since May, claims for state unemployment benefits are up, the Labor Department reported. The department's Employment and Training Administration said the seasonally adjusted total of new claims for the week ended June 25 was 16,000 more than the revised figure of 400,000 for the previous week.
The number of new claims - a key barometer of job market health - rose after three weeks of decline.
The department also reported that the number of people actually receiving benefits under regular state programs in the week ended June 18 decreased by 17, 000 from the previous week. That total, however, does not include 1.5 million others who received extended benefits or federal supplemental compensation, or are federal employees, newly discharged veterans, or railroad workers.