Initial jobless claims rose slightly last week, in line with expectations.
Claims rose 2,000 to 439,000 in the week ending Nov. 13, The Department of Labor said. The revised figure for the previous week was 437,000.
Economists surveyed by Reuters forecast that claims would rise to 440,000 from a previously reported 435,000.
Companies are slowly adding jobs as the economy improves and the holiday shopping season approaches. On Nov. 3, the Federal Reserve said it would pump $600 billion into the economy to aid the "slow" recovery.
"It is indicative of some mild improvement in the labor market," Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities LLC, told Bloomberg News. "It's moving in the right direction, but it still leaves the claims numbers very high."
The four-week moving average, a clearer measure of unemployment trends, fell 4,000 to 443,000. The revised average for the previous week was 447,000.