Initial claims for state unemployment fell 4,000 to 481,000 in the Nov. 1 week, above the 475,000 level expected, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

Seasonal factors had expected unadjusted claims to rise 4.1%, or roughly 18,400. Instead, initial unadjusted claims actually rose 14,543 to 463,932 in the Nov. 1 week. Unadjusted claims were 325,831 a year ago.

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