WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. Initial Unemployment Claims reading of 350,000 in the October 19 week probably again is providing a 'false signal' about underlying labor market trends being far worse. We remain unsure how far this number can fall, though the 320,000 of August could be a target.

Claims again reflect some of the temporary effects of the U.S. government closing on private jobs, though the Labor Department analyst said the states that initially saw spikes in claims had reversed lower. The analyst also said that the state of California continues to process a backlog of claims after repairing its computer systems and that this event, now in its sixth week, is elevating the total.

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