Initial claims for state unemployment fell 12,000 in the March 14 week to 646,000 after adjustment, below analysts’ expectations, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

A Market News International survey had expected the initial claims level to be up 3,000 to 657,000 from the originally reported 654,000 — revised to 658,000 — in the March 7 week, with forecasts ranging from 575,000 to 690,000.

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