WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 369,000 in the week of Oct. 14-20, the Labor Department said Thursday, in line with market expectations. Initial claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 392,000 from an original reading of 388,000, based on more complete data collected at the state level.
New claims have jumped up and down over the past three weeks because of seasonal quirks and other technical problems with the government's weekly data, mainly involving the state of California. The four-week moving average, which smoothes out volatility in the weekly reports, was little changed, rising 1,500 to 368,000.That's the 81st upward revision in 82 weeks. What are the odds?