WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose by 15,000 to 576,000 in the week ending Aug. 15, the Labor Department reported Thursday. It was the highest level since July 25. The four-week average of initial claims also rose, by 4,250 to 570,000, and continuing claims climbed as well. For the week ending Aug. 8, continuing claims rose by 2,000 to 6.24 million. It was also the highest since July 25.