According to data released by the Department of Labor, jobless claims soared above analysts? expectations, reaching 385,000, up from the revised figure of 352,000 recorded the previous week.
The more accurate four-week moving average, a better indicator of unemployment trends, fell for the third consecutive week to 380,000, to its lowest level since the end of March this year. The number stood at 396,000 the previous week.
For the workweek ending July 28, 13 states and territories reported an increase in jobless claims, while 39 reported a decrease. The state data lag a week behind the national figures and are not seasonally adjusted.
The data follows a report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, showing the number of job cuts announced in the US surging by 65% in July.