WASHINGTON — Initial claims for state unemployment benefits in the June 13 week witnessed a small increase, rising 3,000 to 608,000, around analysts’ expectations, according to data released by the Labor Department yesterday.

Continuing claims levels also fell for the first time since the Jan. 3 week, after rising for 21 consecutive weeks.

A Market News International survey had expected the initial claims level to rise to 610,000 this week from the originally reported 601,000 in the June 6 week. The expectations ranged from 590,000 to 625,000.

A survey week comparison shows that initial claims in the June 13 week were down 28,000 from the May 16 survey week.

Initial claims for the June 6 week were revised up 4,000 to 605,000.

The initial claims seasonally adjusted four-week average fell 7,000 to 615,750.

In the June 6 week, continuing claims fell for the first since the Jan. 3, dropping by a massive 148,000 to 6.687 million. According to the Labor Department, the last time continuing claims witnessed such a large decline was Nov. 24, 2001, when levels fell by 197,000.

Continuing claims were 3.097 million in the comparable week a year ago.

— Market News International

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