The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to a seasonally adjusted 377,000, after a nearly four-year low the previous week.
The Labor Department also said Thursday that Ohio earlier in the month had one of the largest drops in new applications. They fell by more than 2,800 during the week that ended Jan. 14 because of fewer layoffs in manufacturing.
Claims for unemployment insurance have trended downward over the past few months. The national average has fallen about 9 percent since Oct. 1.
Unemployment applications have been particularly volatile this month because employers have cut temporary workers hired for the holidays. The department adjusts for seasonal trends. But doing so accurately can be difficult. .