Jobless Claims Rise More Than Expected as California, Pennsylvania Lead Increase

Initial jobless claims rose more than expected in the week that ended on Oct. 15 as California, Pennsylvania and Texas all saw increases, the Department of Labor said in a report on Thursday.

Claims rose by 13,000 from the previous week’s revised level to 260,000, missing estimates for an increase to 250,000, the department said. California had the biggest increase with claims rising by 5,141, Pennsylvania saw an increase of 3,698 and Texas claims rose by 2,558, according to the agency. The four-week moving average rose by 2,250 to 251,750 claims, the department said.

The total marks the 85th consecutive week of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970. The advance seasonally adjusted insured employment rate stayed at 1.5% for the week that ended on Oct. 8.

Investors are closely watching economic reports as the Federal Reserve prepares to meet on Nov. 1-2 to decide whether to raise rates. Market-watchers said there’s only an 8.3% chance that the Federal Open Markets Committee will increase the federal funds rate in November, but a 69.5% chance in December, according to the CME Group Fed Watch Tool.

By Caroline Williams