More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, but applications remain at historically near low levels in a positive sign for the U.S. economy amid a broader global slowdown.

The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment aid rose 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 282,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased 3,250 to 275,500. That average has fallen 9.2 percent over the past 12 months.

The relatively meager number of layoffs generally corresponds with strong hiring levels in the monthly jobs report being released Friday.

Economists expect that employers added 207,500 jobs in August as the unemployment rate dips to 5.2 percent from 5.3 percent. Hiring at that pace suggests the U.S. economy has been insulated from uncertainty about China's financial health that sparked a recent stock sell-off.