According to Reuters, unemployment claims dropped by 10,000 filings as the impact of a California computer glitch worked its way through the system, helping the numbers level out. The publication explains:
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.