More Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week as California worked through a backlog caused by a switch in computer systems and the partial government shutdown forced some government contractors to cut back on staffing levels. Per Bloomberg:
Jobless claims surged by 66,000, the most since the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in November, to 374,000 in the week ended Oct. 5, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a rise to 311,000.
The issues in California accounted for about half the jump in applications last week and the dismissal of non-federal employees after Congress failed to compromise on a budget accounted for about another 15,000, a Labor Department spokesman said as the data was released to the press. The effects of the gridlock in Washington may keep claims elevated as employers grow concerned about the economic outlook.