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First Cut: Initial jobless claims little changed in October 26 week with only a hint of Chicago teachers strike in the numbers

New filings for initial jobless claims in the week ended October 26 were up 5,000 to 218,000, little changed from the 213,000 in the prior week. The four-week moving average was down a negligible 500 to 214,750 in the week. There may have been some filings related to the teachers strike in Chicago since education services tend to respond quickly to any change in need. There will likely be more as the strike enters its second week.

However, the Labor Department cited no special factors and no states estimated claims in the week.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 1.2% in the week ended October 19 and remained where it has been with only the briefest of downside exceptions since May 2018. The level of continuing claims was up 7,000 to 1.690 million, a small increase that is not outside of normal week-to-week variation.

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