The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped from a six-month high last week, but remained elevated as California continued to deal with a backlog related to computer problems.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 358,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to fall to 335,000 last week.
A Labor Department analyst said claims in California, which has experienced technical problems during a conversion to a new computer system, remained at similar levels as in the prior week.
There had not been a perceptible increase in filings last week from non-federal workers furloughed because of the just-ended government shutdown, the analyst said.
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