WASHINGTON — Initial claims for U.S. state unemployment benefits fell more than expected in the July 13 employment survey week, declining by 24,000 to 334,000 to more than reverse the previous week's rise, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Claims in the previous week were revised down to a 358,000 level, a rare downward revision. Still, claims that week were up 14,000 from the previous week, with unadjusted state data for that week showing a sharp rise in manufacturing layoffs in Michigan.

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