The number of Americans who filed for unemployment insurance benefits declined last week, after California's reported backlog cleared.
First-time applicants for jobless benefits dropped to 340,000 in the week ended October 26 from 350,000 the week before, compared to the median forecast of 338,000, the Labor Department said today.
Following the noise caused by a change in computer systems in California, claims are settling into a higher range, indicating the 16-day partial federal shutdown this month prompted some employers to dismiss staff.
The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits increased by 31,000 to 2.88 million in the week ended October 19. The continuing claims figure doesn't include the number of Americans receiving extended benefits under federal programs.
Federal workers filed about 14,400 claims for jobless benefits two weeks ago, down from about 44,100 the prior period. Those were tallied in a separate category and didn't influence today's headline reading.
This comes a day after the Federal Reserve decided to hold its monetary stance unchanged, according to estimates. Following the release, the U.S. dollar held its gains against the Euro.
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Original headline: US jobless claims fell last week by 10,000 as backlog cleared
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