Before the government shutdown and California's backlog, applications fell to a six-year low three weeks ago, thought that figure was pushed lower by California's delays.
Falling applications for unemployment benefits are typically followed by more hiring. But so far, there haven't been many signs of that happening.
The shutdown has delayed a raft of government data, including September's employment report. And it will likely affect hiring and weigh on the economic growth in the October-December quarter.
Several economists have cut their forecasts for fourth-quarter growth to an annual rate of about 2 percent, half a percentage point lower than their previous estimates.
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