WASHINGTON — U.S. long-term mortgage rates changed little this week, flattening in recent weeks following a year-long decline amid economic anxiety in the recession set off by the coronavirus pandemic. Home loan rates have remained at historically low levels.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan eased to 2.87% from 2.88% last week. By contrast, the rate averaged 3.57% a year ago.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked up to 2.37% from 2.36%.

The low borrowing rates have bolstered demand by prospective homebuyers, who on the other hand have been constrained by the scarcity of available homes for sale.

In the latest sign of the flagging economic recovery and continued elevated level of job cuts, the government reported Thursday that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell slightly last week to a still-high 840,000.