WASHINGTON - Initial claims for U.S. state unemployment benefits rose by 8,000 to 365,000 in the July 28 week, a lower level than expected, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The median estimate of economists surveyed by MNI was for 370,000, a rise of 17,000 from the initially reported 353,000 level in the July 21 week. That week's claims level was revised up to 357,000.

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