Businesses have cut back on hiring in response to a slowing U.S. economy, but they still aren’t cutting many jobs. The numbers: The number of unemployed workers who applied for jobless benefits in the second week of October rose slightly, but layoffs nationwide remained near a 50-year low and showed no sign of rising despite a slowdown in the U.S. economy. Initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, increased by 4,000 to 214,000 in the week of Oct. 6 to Oct. 12, the government said Thursday.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 215,000 reading. What happened: Most of the increase in new jobless claims last week was concentrated in California. No other state reported significant changes. Claims were somewhat elevated in Ohio and Michigan, two states with large concentrations of General Motors