Here is the opening statement from the Department of Labor:

TECHNICAL NOTE: In response to recommendations resulting from an internal review of state operations, the state of California has announced a two week pause in its processing of initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits. The state will use this time to reduce its claims processing backlog and implement fraud prevention technology. Recognizing that the pause will likely result in significant week to week swings in initial claims for California and the nation unrelated to any changes in economic conditions, California’s initial claims published in the UI Claims News Release will reflect the level reported during the last week prior to the pause. Upon completion of the pause and the post-pause processing, the state will submit revised reports to reflect claims in the week during which they were filed. For additional information on California’s efforts: https://www.edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/pdf/news-20-49.pdf.

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending October 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 898,000, an increase of 53,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 5,000 from 840,000 to 845,000. The 4-week moving average was 866,250, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 1,250 from 857,000 to 858,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 6.8 percent for the week ending October 3, a decrease of 0.9 percentage point from the previous week's revised rate. The previous week's rate was revised up by 0.2 from 7.5 to 7.7 percent. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending October 3 was 10,018,000, a decrease of 1,165,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up 207,000 from 10,976,000 to 11,183,000. The 4-week moving average was 11,481,750, a decrease of 682,250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 51,750 from 12,112,250 to 12,164,000. [See full report]

This morning's seasonally adjusted 898K new claims, up 53K from the previous week's revised figure, was worse than the Investing.com forecast of 825K.

Here is a close look at the data over the decade (with a callout for the past year), which gives a clearer sense of the overall trend.

Unemployment Claims since 2007

As we can see, there's a good bit of volatility in this indicator, which is why the 4-week moving average (the highlighted number) is a more useful number than the weekly data. Here is the complete data series.

Unemployment Claims

The headline Unemployment Insurance data is seasonally adjusted. What does the non-seasonally adjusted data look like? See the chart below, which clearly shows the extreme volatility of the non-adjusted data (the red dots). The 4-week MA gives an indication of the recurring pattern of seasonal change (note, for example, those regular January spikes).