Unemployment claims higher than projected

Fresh applications for unemployment benefits topped 260,000 in mid-October, up 13,000 – or 0.5 percent – over the previous week, according to the Labor Department.

The Washington Examiner has the scoop:

The increase in claims was more than the 4,000 uptick private-sector forecasters had projected. While claims remain reassuringly low, they are slightly off the red-hot pace early in the month.

Scarce jobless claims are viewed as a positive sign for the economy because claims represent layoffs. Jobless claims, which are released weekly, can give investors and policymakers a high-frequency indicator of the health of the jobs market.

Net payroll job growth has been strong recently, averaging 192,000 over the past three months. While that is a slower pace of job growth than was the norm in recent years, it is more than high enough to keep the unemployment rate trending down.

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