In light of increasing interest rates, there may have been a slight decline in the number of Americans who filed new applications for unemployment benefits last week.

The Labor Department reported on Thursday that initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 250,000 for the week ending August 13

Despite recent weeks' slight increases, claims remain below the 270,000–300,000 range that experts say would indicate a significant slowdown in the labour market.

The difficulty of accounting for seasonal variations in the data is probably also driving up claims.

However, there is still a high demand for workers. At the end of June, there were 10.7 million job opportunities, or 1.8 for every unemployed person.

Next month, the Federal Reserve of the United States is anticipated to increase its policy rate by 50 to 75 basis points. Since March, the Fed has increased its rate by 225 basis points.

The likelihood of employment growth in August will be better understood next week when data on the number of persons receiving benefits after a first week of assistance are released.