WASHINGTON — Initial claims for state unemployment benefits saw a small decline of 2,000 to 402,000 in the Oct. 22 week, slightly below expectations, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Economists had expected initial claims to come in at 405,000, up 2,000 from the previously reported level of 403,000 in the Oct. 15 week. That week’s claims were revised up to a level of 404,000, while claims in the Oct. 8 week were revised up to 411,000 from the 409,000 originally reported.

In the Oct. 15 employment survey week, continuing claims declined by 96,000 to 3,645,000 after seasonal adjustment.

Unadjusted continuing claims rose 14,906 to 3,149,676.

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