The number of Americans filing first-time unemployment claims rose 20,000 to 332,000 last week, according to Labor Department figures on Thursday.
Analysts expected 330,000 claims for the week ending Sept. 11. The previous week's figure was revised up by 2,000 from 310,000 to 312,000.
The unemployment rate fell to 5.2% in August from 5.4% in July, according to the latest figures.
The world's largest economy added just 235,000 jobs in August and still has 8.4 million unemployed workers as of last month.
More than 22 million people in the US lost their jobs in March and April of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.