The Labor Department says that weekly applications for unemployment aid rose 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 315,000, the most since late June. Still, the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, rose just 750 to 304,000. The average is 7.1 per cent lower than it was a year ago.
The data covers the week ended Sept. 6, which included the Labor Day holiday. Unemployment benefits data can be more volatile around holidays.
Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The four-week average fell to a seven-year low of 293,750 last month. Generally, fewer applications indicate employers are holding onto their staffs.