WASHINGTON, D.C. (10/11/13)--Jobless claims rose to a new high in the first week of October, as the aftershock of federal furloughs rippled through the economy, and California worked through a bottleneck processing unemployment benefits claims.
The Labor Department measure showed an uptick in 66,000 claims, bringing the total at the end of the week ending Oct. 5 to 374,000. It was the highest the figure has been since the recovery from Superstorm Sandy began last November.
About half of the rise can be attributed to California having completed a change in the computer system it uses to process claims. Layoffs of non-federal employees in the wake of the government shutdown accounts for another 15,000 (Bloomberg.com Oct. 10).
A less volatile measure used by Labor Department, the four-week moving average, also rose 20,000 to a five-week high of 325,000 (Moody's Economy.com Oct. 10)
Claims lodged by furloughed federal workers will be measured by a metric other than the Labor Department's jobless claims total. But claims made by furloughed contractors are counted.