Job seekers wait in line at OneStop, the unemployment office in Greenwood, S.C. (Linda Davidson)

Analysts had expected a slight dip in claims, Bloomberg reported, and the rise underscores that concerns about the economy are further hurting the struggling job market. Claims have been above the 400,000 mark since early April, with the exception of one week in early August. Government data earlier this month indicated that the country had added no new jobs in the month of August.

With layoffs expected at Bank of America and no sign that hiring is picking up, there will be significant pressure on the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve to jumpstart the flagging economy.

The four-week moving average, generally considered to be a more accurate indicator of jobless claims, rose to 419,500 from 415,000.