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U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Drop Much Less Than Expected

First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by much less than expected in the week ended June 20th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report said initial jobless claims dropped to 1.480 million, a decrease of 60,000 from the previous week's revised level of 1.540 million.

Economists had expected jobless claims to tumble to 1.300 million from the 1.508 million originally reported for the previous week.

Jobless claims pulled back further off the record high of 6.867 million set in late March, although the pace of decline has slowed considerably in the past two weeks.

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