WASHINGTON — Initial jobless claims increased by 11,000 to 531,000 in the week ending Oct. 17, as continuing claims fell for the fifth straight week, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

Workers filing for continuing unemployment claims fell by 98,000 to 5.923 million in the week ending Oct. 10, the lowest number of continuing claims since Jan. 17.

Economists expected 515,000 initial claims and 5.960 continuing claims, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Initial claims for the week ending Oct. 10 were revised higher to 520,000 from the initially reported 514,000 and continuing claims were revised higher to 6.021 million for the week ending Oct. 3.

The four-week moving average for initial claims dropped to 532,250.

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