Ticker: New claims for unemployment fall; Netflix subscribers surge

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Applications for unemployment benefits fell to their lowest level in eight months last week as businesses continue to retain workers despite elevated interest rates meant to cool the economy and labor market.

Jobless claims fell by 13,000 to 198,000 for the week ending Oct. 14, the Labor Department reported. That’s the fewest since January and about 14,000 fewer than analysts expected.

Despite the low level of weekly first-time jobless benefit applications, the number of Americans remaining on the unemployment rolls — known as “continuing claims” — jumped to its highest level in three months.

Overall, 1.73 million people were collecting unemployment benefits the week that ended Oct. 7, about 29,000 more than the previous week and the most since early July.

Netflix subscribers surge

Netflix added 9 million subscribers during the third quarter, the Los Gatos, Calif.-based streaming video giant said, citing popular original shows and older licensed content, as well as the company’s crackdown on password sharing.

Revenue was $8.5 billion in the quarter, up 8% from the same period of time last year, which was in line with analyst estimates. Net income was $1.68 billion, compared to $1.4 billion a year ago.

In an effort to bring in even more revenue, Netflix also announced it’s raising the price for its most expensive streaming service by $2 to $23 per month in the U.S. — a 10% increase — and its lowest-priced, ad-free streaming plan to $12 — another $2 bump. The $15.50 per month price for Netflix’s most popular streaming option in the U.S. will remain unchanged, as will a $7 monthly plan that includes intermittent commercials.

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