The Canadian PressOctober 17, 2013 08:17
WASHINGTON - Applications for US unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 358,000 last week, though the figure was distorted for the second straight week by California's efforts to clear backlogged claims.
The Labor Department says the less volatile four-week average rose 11,750 to 336,500.
Applications have jumped in the past two weeks, distorted by computer upgrades in two states and the 16-day partial government shutdown. Prior to those unusual factors, claims had reached pre-recession levels, a sign that companies are cutting very few workers.