WASHINGTON (MarketWatch)—The number of people who applied for regular state unemployment-insurance benefits declined by 9,000 to 346,000 in the week that ended June 22, pointing to a slightly slower pace of layoffs, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected these initial jobless claims to decrease to a seasonally adjusted 345,000 from an original estimate of 354,000 for the week that ended June 15. On Thursday the government tweaked its estimate of initial claims for the week that ended June 15 to 355,000.
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