WASHINGTON — Initial claims for U.S. state unemployment benefits fell by 12,000 to 334,000 in the June 8 week, far below expectations and with no estimated states included in the data, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Expectations for this week's report was for a claims level of 350,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previously reported 346,000 level in June 1 holiday week. The initial claims level in that week was unrevised.

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