Jobless claims increased by 66,000 for the week ended Oct. 5, due in part to the federal government shutdown and California working through a backlog caused by a switch in computer systems, Bloomberg News reported.
Americans filed 374,000 claims for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department reported Oct. 10.
The computer issues in California accounted for about half of the increase in applications, and the dismissal of nonfederal employees because of the shutdown accounted for about 15,000, Labor said.
The Labor Department released the weekly data despite the shutdown that started Oct. 1.
“The longer the government shutdown continues, the bigger the effect on the private sector will be,” Ryan Sweet, senior economists at Moody’s Analytics Inc., told Bloomberg.
The average forecast from economists surveyed by Bloomberg was an increase to 311,000 weekly claims.
Unemployment claims filed by furloughed federal workers will not show up in the figures in the coming weeks but will be tallied in a separate category, Labor said.