US Jobless Drops After California Glitch Solved

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.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza