The number of Americans who applied for unemployment insurance benefits rose by 3,000 last week, according to the Labor Department. The seasonally adjusted rate of those seeking jobless aid hit 270,000 last week, while the less volatile four-week average is 268,250. The average has decreased by 10 percent over the last year, reaching levels that have not been seen in 15 years.
The July jobs report will be released Friday. Analysts predict that some 225,000 jobs were added to the economy and that the unemployment rate will stay locked at 5.3 percent.