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Unemployment Claims Unexpectedly Fall to 210,000

US President Donald Trump arrives to a 'Make America Great Again' rally in Lebanon, Ohio, on October 12, 2018. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Unemployment claims fell by more than expected last week, indicating that the trade war with China and protective tariffs on steel and aluminum have not weighed on jobs.

New applications for state unemployment benefits fell by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 210,000 for the week ended October 13, the Labor Department said Thursday. The prior week was revised up from 214,000 to 215,000.

Economists had forecast claims dipping to 212,000.

Unemployment claims are a proxy for layoffs. They have been closely watched ever since the Trump administration began applying tariffs earlier this year. Although the tariffs were predicted to cost U.S. jobs, so far that has not been the case.

Continuing claims, people who have been unemployed for more than one week, are reported with a one-week delay. These rose 13,000 to 1.64 million for the week ended October 6, the lowest level since August 1973.

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