Jobless claims declined by 12,000 for the week ended Oct. 19 as California continued working through a backlog caused by a switch in computer systems, Bloomberg News reported.
Americans filed 350,000 claims for unemployment benefits last week from a revised 362,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department reported Oct. 24. The average forecast from economists surveyed by Bloomberg was a decrease to 340,000 weekly claims.
Bloomberg said applications in California remained elevated, and analysts weren’t able to determine how many nonfederal workers filed because of the 16-day government shutdown.
“It’s going to be a couple more weeks before we get a clean reading on initial claims, “ Ryan Sweet, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc., told Bloomberg. “All in all, claims are signaling that the job market is treading water.”
The four-week moving average of jobless claims, a less volatile measure, increased to 348,250 last week from 337,500. No states were estimated last week. The number of people receiving continuing jobless benefits fell by 8,000 to 2.87 million in the week ended Oct. 12.