NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits edged up last week, the government said Thursday.
There were 410,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended Feb. 12, according to the Labor Department. That was up 25,000 from the week before, and slightly more than the 408,000 claims economists surveyed by Briefing.com had expected.
Continuing claims -- which include people filing for the second week of benefits or more -- rose by 1,000 to 3,911,000 in the week ended Feb. 5, the most recent week available.
While initial claims data have been distorted recently by severe winter snow storms, the numbers have been trending lower since August. The weekly figure is near its lowest levels since July 2008.
The numbers still reflect inclement weather in certain parts of the country, but the effect was minimal in the most recent week, according to a Labor Department official.
The 4-week moving average of initial claims, which aims to smooth out volatility, rose to 417,750 from the previous week's revised average of 416,000.
"This is nothing to worry about," said Ian Shepherdson, an economist at High Frequency Economics. "The downward trend is still in place, though the weekly numbers have been hugely volatile in recent weeks because of the severe weather."
Looking ahead, Shepherdson said he expects "a further sustained decline in claims" as conditions improve for small businesses and access to credit becomes easier.
The overall decline in jobless claims comes as the economy continues to show signs of strength. The Federal Reserve raised its forecast on Wednesday for economic growth this year, however the unemployment rate is expected to remain near 9%.
Experts think the 'yuge' move higher for stocks since the election could continue. Even corporate executives are predicting better times ahead -- despite attacks by Donald Trump against business leaders. More
Senator Elizabeth Warren and 20 other senators send a letter to President-elect Donald Trump reminding him he wouldn't cut Medicare and Medicaid. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More