WASHINGTON — Initial claims for U.S. state unemployment benefits were higher than expected in the July 6 holiday week, jumping by 16,000 to 360,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Expectations for this week's report were for a claims level of 345,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previously reported 343,000 level in June 29 week. The initial claims level in that week was revised up very slightly to 344,000.

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