Unemployment benefits claims increased more than initially projected, according to data from the Department of Labor.

Initial claims from the Labor Department showed requests for unemployment benefits spiked by 21,000 resulting in a seasonally adjusted 311,000. Last week, the seasonally adjusted rate was 290,000.

With the increase, the Labor Department reported the 21,000 claims is the highest in six weeks. In a survey of 48 economists by Bloomberg, the seasonally adjusted average was projected to be 295,000.

"There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims," the Labor Department stated.

The Labor Department noted the four-week average for unemployment benefits claims is 295,750, which is an increase of 2,000 from original averages.

The total number of people who claimed unemployment benefits for the week ending July 26 was disclosed to be more than 2.5 million people, which is a decrease of 40,062 people. In comparison to the same week in 2013, approximately 4.6 million people claimed unemployment benefits.

Federal workers who claimed unemployment benefits were also confirmed, as 15,312 ex-employees made claims by the end of July 26, an increase of 881 workers from the previous week.

South Carolina led the way for the largest initial increase for unemployment benefits claims for the week ending Aug. 2 with 982 followed by Pennsylvania's 853 and Michigan's 782. California saw the largest decreases with 9,244 followed by Tennessee's 1,090 and New York's 1,063.

The latest unemployment benefits claims data comes as the Department of Commerce released retail and food services sales, which were flat for July despite a "short-lived rebound" in early 2014. Retail and food services sales for July were $439.8 billion.

Despite the increased initial claims for unemployment benefits and flat sales in the retail sector, the U.S. unemployment rate is 6.2 percent, down more than 1 percent compared to July 2013. The Labor Department also noted job openings are at its highest levels, based on June's statistics, in more than 13 years.