WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The number of Americans initially applying for unemployment aid dipped last week, but still stood well above the pre-shutdown level, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday.
In the week ending Oct. 12, the advance figure of seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits edged down by 15,000 to 358,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 373,000, the highest since late March.
Claims in California remained elevated for the second consecutive week as the state continued to work though the backlog, and non-federal workers dismissed due to the partial federal government shutdown also helped pump the reading further up from the pre-shutdown level of slightly over 300,000, said a Labor Department spokesman.
But any claims filed by the 800,000 furloughed federal workers due to the shutdown will be reported separately and was not included in the weekly reading.
The four-week moving average, which helps smooth out week-to-week volatility, rose by 11,750 to 336,500.
The advance figure of seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Oct. 5 stood at 2.859 million, down 43,000 from the previous week.