Working Americans are keeping the economy afloat. Strong consumer spending countered a big drop in business investment in the third quarter The numbers: The wildfires in California likely spurred an increase in the number of people who applied for unemployments benefits at the end of October, but layoffs across the U.S. remained extremely low in a good sign for the economy. Initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, rose by 5,000 to 218,000 in the seven days ended Oct. 26, the government said Thursday.
Economists polled by MarketWatch estimated new claims would total a seasonally adjusted 215,000. Read: Consumer sentiment shows Americans still fairly optimistic What happened: Raw jobless claims — the actual number of applications filed — posted the biggest increase in California, where wildfires and power outages kept many people from working. They also rose by at least 1,000 in Virginia, Georgia, New York and Ohio. The government adjusts jobless claims to account for th
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