More Americans filed claims for unemployment insurance last week, the second straight weekly rise amid a slow recovery in the jobs market, official data showed Thursday.

Initial jobless claims rose by 4,000 to 372,000 in the week ended August 18, the Labor Department reported.

The four-week moving average, which reduces week-to-week volatility, rose by 3,750 to 368,000.

Three years after a severe recession, the world's largest economy continues to struggle with tepid growth and high unemployment.

The jobless rate ticked up to 8.3 percent in July and the economy generated a net 163,000 new jobs, slightly more than needed to absorb the expansion of the working age population.