The number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose slightly last week -- a sign that the job market remains weak.
Weekly applications increased by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 401,000.
Still, applications are higher than they would be in a healthy economy.
Economists say those numbers need to fall below 375,000 to signal sustainable job growth. Unemployment numbers haven't been that low since February.
Steven Wood, an economist at Insight Economics, said applications have averaged 415,000 this year, down from 459,000 last year. That suggests layoffs have slowed.