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US / Jobless Claims drop but bigger gains in payrolls are needed

Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week as a backlog in California’s reporting cleared.

Jobless claims decreased by 10,000 to 340,000 in the week ended Oct. 26 from 350,000 the prior period, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The median forecast of 49 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a decrease to 338,000. California said no claims last week represented applications from prior weeks, a Labor Department spokesman said as the figures were released to the press.

Following swings caused by a change in computer systems in California, claims are settling into a higher range, indicating the 16-day partial federal shutdown this month prompted some employers to dismiss staff.

Following swings caused by a change in computer systems in California, claims are settling into a higher range, indicating the 16-day partial federal shutdown this month prompted some non-government employers to dismiss staff. Bigger gains in payrolls are needed to boost wages and revive consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.

“The issue for the market is job creation,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida, who accurately forecast today’s claims number. “We’re not really making up what we lost during the recession.”

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at 

Bloomberg Business Week

via Jobless Claims in U.S. Drop as California Clears Backlog – Bloomberg.

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