The four-week rolling average, which provides a steadier assessment than the weekly figures that can be volatile, rose marginally, up by 750 to 383,500.
The biggest increases in initial jobless claims for the week ended April 21 were all in the Northeast.
In New York, first-time claims for that week rose 15,467. In Massachusetts they rose by 4,333 and in Connecticut they rose by 1,776.
Concurrently, the largest decreases were in New Jersey (down by 5,748), Pennsylvania (down by 3,080) and Wisconsin (down by 1,841).
The U.S. unemployment rate is 8.2 percent, unchanged from February to March. The Labor Department's fresh look at the unemployment data is set to be released Friday.