WASHINGTON - Initial claims for U.S. state unemployment benefits fell by 12,000 to 365,000 in the September 1 week, less than expected, after an upward revision to the previous week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The median estimate of economists surveyed by MNI was for 370,000, a decline of 4,000 from the initially reported 374,000 level in the August 25 week. That week's claims level was revised up 3,000 to 377,000.

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