Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose to 386,000 from the previous week's revised estimate of 352,000.
In the previous three weeks, claims had fallen by 2,000, 6,000 and 14,000, a total decline of 22,000. The last month has, therefore, seen an increase of 12,000 claims.
The official four-week rolling average, which gives a steadier indication of the direction of jobless claims, was little changed, dropping by 1,500 to 375,500.
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending July 14 were in New York (with a gain of 22,336), Michigan (up by 7,602) and Ohio (up by 5,976). The largest decreases were in California (9,016), New Jersey (5,282) and Connecticut (917).
The U.S. unemployment rate is 8.2 percent. After rising 0.1 of a percentage point from April to May, it remained unchanged in June on the addition of 80,000 jobs.