The Labor Department said claims for Maine and Wyoming were estimated last week.
The four-week moving average of initial claims, viewed as a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, edged up 1,000 to 222,000 last week.
The claims report also showed the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid fell 21,000 to 1.71 million in the week ended June 16. The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims dropped 3,750 to 1.72 million, the lowest level since December 1973.
The continuing claims data covered the week of the household survey from which June’s unemployment rate will be derived. The four-week average of continuing claims decreased 32,000 between the May and June survey periods, suggesting a further decline in the jobless rate this month was likely.