Concerns over the nation's anemic jobs recovery grew Thursday with the Labor Department reporting an increase in unemployment claims for the week ending Sept. 8.
The government received 382,000 unemployment claims last week, an increase of 15,000 filings from the week before.
The 4-week moving average also edged up by 3,250 applications, hitting 375,000 claims.
The increase in weekly jobless filings disrupted a few weeks of falling claims with applications for the week ending Sept. 1 dropping by 12,000.
Joblessness and long-term unemployment remain key concerns for the Federal Reserve, which is wrapping up its latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting today.
Analysts as early as Monday predicted another round of mortgage security purchases by the Fed to combat persistent unemployment woes through more accommodative policy.
Economists forecasting more quantitative easing – or QE3 – suggested concerns about unemployment would push the Fed in that direction.
The month of August proved to be a weak jobs month, with the nation experiencing only a 96,000 increase in US non-farm payrolls.