Jobless claims declined by 15,000 for the week ended Oct. 12, due in part to California working through a backlog caused by a switch in computer systems, Bloomberg News reported.
Americans filed 358,000 claims for unemployment benefits last week from a revised 373,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department reported Oct. 10.
Applications in California remained elevated, and the total also included some nonfederal workers dismissed because of the 16-day government shutdown, Bloomberg reported.
“Uncertainty around the future of policy is having an impact, even if we’re not in the middle of a crisis,” Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities, told Bloomberg.
The average forecast from economists surveyed by Bloomberg was a decrease to 335,000 weekly claims.
The four-week moving average of jobless claims, a less volatile measure, rose to 336,500 last week from 324,750. The number of people receiving continuing jobless benefits fell by 43,000 to 2.86 million in the week ended Oct. 5.