Initial claims rose for the third straight week although remained below 300,000 for 56 weeks, the level associated with a healthy jobs market.
The 4-week moving average was 263,250, an increase of 3,500 from the previous week's unrevised average of 259,750.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.6 percent for the week ending March 19, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 19 was 2,173,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up 1,000 from 2,179,000 to 2,180,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,190,750, a decrease of 14,500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised down by 1,250 from 2,206,500 to 2,205,250.