WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 The number of initial jobless claims in the United States increased last week, according to a report released by the U.S. Labor Department on Thursday. In the week ending Aug. 24, the number of people filing for U.S. unemployment benefits increased by 4,000 to 215,000. Meanwhile, the previous week’s level was revised up by 2,000 from 209,000 to 211,000. The report also showed that the four-week moving average of initial claims, a method to iron out data volatility, decreased by 500 to 214,500. As a leading indicator of unemployment status in the United States, a lower reading in jobless claims indicates lower overall layoffs. The reading of jobless claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, signaling a tight labor market in the United States. For the bigger picture of the U.S. labor market, American employers added 164,000 jobs in July, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Aug. 2. The Bureau is scheduled to release the August unemployment rate on Sept. 6.