The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits declined largely as expected last week as the impact of a California computer glitch worked its way out of the report.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined by 10,0000 to a seasonally adjusted 340,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were not revised.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to fall to 339,000 last week.
A Labor Department analyst said California, which had been dealing with a backlog, reported no carryover in claims last week from previous weeks.
Technical problems as California converted to a new computer system have distorted the claims data since September, which had made it hard to get a clear read of labor market conditions.
A 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government had also pushed up claims in recent weeks as furloughed workers applied for benefits, but this appeared to be diminishing.
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