Aug. 10 (UPI) — The U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday the number of applications for first-time unemployment benefits increased by thousands in the first week of August.

The Labor Department said there were 244,000 seasonally adjusted initial claims in the week ending on Saturday — an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised rate.

The four-week moving average, which attempts to even out weekly volatility, was 241,000 — a decrease of 1,000.

Laos, the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.4 percent for the week ending July 29 — unchanged form the previous week, the department said.

Continuing claims, which are taken by workers for longer than a week, decreased by 16,000 to just under 2 million at the end of July.

Weekly claims have remained below 300,000 for 127 consecutive weeks — the longest streak since 1970.

The Labor Department said most initial unemployment claims for the week occurred in Iowa, Delaware , Washington, Nevada and Idaho — in descending order.

The report comes as the U.S. Federal Reserve considers plans to reduce its $4.5 trillion balance sheet. Last month, the Fed left key interest rates unchanged.

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