In the week, 395,750 initial claims were filed, 27,000 more than the previous week.
During the week, the four-week rolling average of initial claims filed rose by 5,500 to 395,750.
The unemployment rate in March fell from to 8.9 percent to 8.8 percent.
The Labor Department said the biggest increases in first-time jobless benefits claims for the week ending April 2 were reported by Massachusetts with 2,575 additional claims, Pennsylvania, which added 1,606, and Ohio, which added 1,094.
For the week ending April 2, the biggest decreases were reported by California with a decline of 8,095, Texas with a decline of 2,913 and Florida, where initial claims fell by 1,731.