WASHINGTON (MNI) - Initial claims for U.S. state unemployment benefits fell to 12,000 to 350,000 in the October 19 week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The median forecast from a survey conducted by MNI called for a level of 345,000, which would have been a 17,000 decrease from the October 12 week which was revised up to 362,000 from 358,000.

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