Jobless Applications Surge Due to Shutdown

Washington, DC, Oct. 10, 2013 -- Initial applications for unemployment benefits surged to 374,000 in the first week of October due largely to unusual circumstances, according to the Labor Department.

Ongoing computer problems in California and government shutdown-related layoffs at companies like defense contractors have skewed the numbers.

The 66,000 increase in claims marked the biggest spike since last November. Economists had expected claims to rise to 312,000.