WASHINGTON — Initial claims for U.S. state unemployment benefits fell more than expected in the April 20 week, declining by 16,000 to 339,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Expectations for this week's report were for a claims level of 350,000, a decline of 2,000 from the previously reported 352,000 level in April 13 week. The initial claims level in that week was revised up to 355,000.

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