Weekly jobless claims came in at 309,000, beating economists’ expectations. The catch is that those two states that were upgrading their systems last week still have a backlog, so the data is incomplete.
The number of people applying for new unemployment benefits climbed above 300,000 again and could rise a bit more in the next few weeks as a pair of states work through a backlog of claims stemming from the Labor Day holiday and updates to their computer systems. Initial jobless claims climbed by 15,000 in the week ended Sept. 14 from a slightly revised 294,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected claims to jump to 338,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. A Labor official said California and Nevada made changes to their computer systems at the start of September that resulted in processing delays of some claims applications. Those applications could show up in the next few weeks and possibly push new claims higher.