Weekly unemployment benefit applications ticked up 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 427,000 last week, the Labor Department said.
It marked the ninth straight week in which applications have been above 400,000. That trend represents a setback after applications had been declining all winter.
Applications had fallen in February to 375,000, a level that signals sustainable job growth. They stayed below 400,000 for seven of nine weeks. But applications surged in April to 478,000 — an eight-month high — and they have been stuck above 400,000 since then.