Initial jobless claims rose more than expected last week, by 13,000 to 282,000.
Economists had estimated, according to Bloomberg, that first-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 270,000 last week.
The Labour Department reported no special factors in this week’s data.
The number of continuing claims was 2.24 million, up from 2.16 million in the prior week.
In a client preview ahead of the release, HSBC noted that jobless claims are sometimes more volatile near the end of the year due to seasonal fluctuations and the holidays.
The number of initial jobless claims has not crossed 300,000 since March.