WASHINGTON — Initial claims for U.S. state unemployment benefits were about as expected in the June 22 week, coming in at 346,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Expectations for this week's report was for a claims level of 345,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previously reported 354,000 level in June 15 week. The initial claims level in that week were revised slightly higher to 355,000.

Continuing claims fell 1,000 to 2.965 million in the June 15 survey week, which is 37,000 less than the 3.005 million that were reported one month ago.

The initial claims seasonally adjusted 4-week moving average fell 2,750 to 345,750 in the June 22 week, reversing its upward trend after rising in the previous week.

A Labor Department analyst said that there were no states estimated and nothing unusual in the state level data.

The analyst said that seasonal adjustment factors had expected a 2.1% increase in unadjusted claims, or roughly 7,101, in the June 22 week. Instead, unadjusted claims fell 0.5%, or 1,589, to 334,978. That level is below the 370,521 level reported in the comparable week a year ago.

The state data released for the June 8 week indicated unadjusted initial claims increased in 14 states and declined in 39 states, with no states unchanged. The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands are included in this data.

The level of unadjusted continuing claims rose 7,471 to 2,787,079 in the June 15 week, below the 3,113,846 level in the comparable week a year ago.

The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment held steady at 2.3% in the June 8 week, below the seasonally adjusted 2.6% rate in the comparable week a year earlier.

The unemployment rate among the insured labor force is well below that reported monthly by the Labor Department because claims are approved for the most part only for job losers, not the job leavers and labor force reentrants included in the monthly report.

The Labor Department said that the level of unadjusted Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits claims rose 23,147 to 1,707,109 in the June 8 week.

The Labor Department reported that a total of 5,890,083 persons claimed unemployment benefits in the June 8 week, a 23,146 rise from the previous week, but still well below the 5,890,083 persons in the comparable week a year ago. These data are not seasonally adjusted, and include regular state claims, federal employee claims, new veterans claims, the EUC and extended benefits programs, state additional benefits, and STC/Workshare claims.

Market News International is a real-time global news service for fixed-income and foreign exchange market professionals. See www.marketnews.com.

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