Jobless claims fall though storm distorts data
November 9, 2012 12:42 AM EST
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, a sign the labor market's slow recovery was gaining traction although a severe storm distorted the data.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 355,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That was below the median forecast in a Reuters poll of 370,000.
An analyst from the department said Sandy, a mammoth storm that slammed into the East Coast on October 29, boosted claims in some states by leaving people out of work, but also reduced claims in at least one state because power outages kept the state from collecting claim reports.
The impact of the storm is likely to be temporary. It was unclear if the storm's net effect was to boost or reduce claims, the analyst said.
The storm could continue to affect the claims report for several more weeks, the analyst said.
The storm killed at least 121 people in the United States and Canada and left more than 8 million homes and businesses without electricity in the Northeast.
The four-week moving average for jobless claims, which smoothes out volatility, rose 3,250 to 370,500. Economists generally think a reading below 400,000 points to an increase in employment.
The U.S. economy has recently shown some signs of health, with consumers spending more freely and home construction picking up. But business investment sank in the third quarter, a sign companies lack confidence in the strength of the economic recovery.
Continuing claims for jobless benefits fell 135,000 in the week ended October 27 to a seasonally adjusted 3.127 million, the lowest level since July 2008, the Labor Department said.
(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Andrea Ricci)
Most Popular Slideshows
- Taylor Swift Named Forbes' Second Highest Paid Country Musician [PHOTOS]
- Forever Lost: Indescribable Anguish for Malaysia Airlines MH17 Families, Remains of Some Victims May Never Be Found (PHOTOS)
- Global Aviation Accidents: UN to Form Safety Task Force, Gov'ts Should Share Intelligence Info to Avert Future Incidents on Flying Over Warzones (PHOTOS)
- PageSix: Beyonce & Jay Z Union is Not About Love, All About Business & the Brand
Join the Conversation
- Tourre on stand says email in SEC case 'not accurate'
- Syrian authorities blocking access to needy in Homs - Red Cross
- Faith in European Union at low ebb, EU poll says
- Former UBS banker gets 18 months, $1 million fine, for muni bid-rigging scheme
- U.S. judge halts challenges to Detroit's bankruptcy bid
- Samsung Galaxy S5 Alpha Leaks Online: Release Date, Five Features to Wait for New Smart Phone
- Photos of Motorola Moto X+1 Prototype and Specs Leak Online, Release Date, Four Fresh Features Revealed
- Sony Xperia Z3: Release Date, Five Features to Expect from New Android Smart Phone
- Top Surprising Features Of iOS 8
- Top 4 Reasons Why iPhone 6 Will Hit Big Soon After its Sept 2014 Release Date
- Freshly Leaked Apple iPad Air 2 Cases Confirm Touch ID Sensor; Release Date, Limited Specs and Price Listed
- 5 Food Scandals That Shocked The World