Unemployment Claims Drop, As Sandy's Effects Wear Off

jobless claims unemployment benefits

WASHINGTON, Nov 29 (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped for a second straight week last week, unwinding some of the storm-related surge, which has muddled the labor market picture.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 393,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week's figure was revised up to show 6,000 more applications than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 390,0000 last week. The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, increased 7,500 to 405,250, the highest level since October last year.

Superstorm Sandy, which ripped through the East Coast in late October, has distorted initial claims data in recent weeks, making it hard to get a clear pulse of the labor market.

A Labor Department official said there was no pronounced impact of the storm in last week's data, adding that claims also tended to be volatile around this time of year.

The labor market improved in October, with employers adding 171,000 jobs to their payrolls, up from 148,000 the prior month. Economists say stripping out the three states - New York Connecticut and New Jersey - hardest hit by the storm, new applications for state unemployment benefits have been steady.

The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid dropped 70,000 to 3.29 million in the week ended Nov. 17. So-called continuing claims covered the week of the household survey from which the unemployment rate is derived.

The jobless rate increased by a tenth of a percentage point to 7.9 percent in October, as more Americans - including those who had given up the search for work - entered the labor market.

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Food assistance is up 117% in the greater Minneapolis area. Go figure.

December 09 2012 at 4:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The unemployment and susequent poverty rate has been astronomically high for the past 4 years. A hurricane had little to do with it, but professing 'leadership' does.

December 02 2012 at 7:05 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

The unemployment numbers will continue to get better because they are not counting those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits and are still unemployed but just not counted. obama has done nothing to create an environmet for business growth, investment or hiring. obama is ruining America's economy. Now he wants another stimulus to help his negative effects from all the tax increases that will cause even more harm to our financial situation. Unfortunately the media is aiding and abetting obama in this scam on the America people.

December 02 2012 at 4:24 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

After Jan 1 you will pay 3.8% when you sell your house because of Obamacare. There are 20 other taxes in the bill that the media has refused to report. All of them will hurt the middle class.

December 02 2012 at 12:50 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

No recovery, folks, in CA. Temporary retail jobs with no benefits, no guaranteed hours, minimum wage and ends gradually between 12/26 and the first week in January.

December 01 2012 at 10:04 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

That doesn't mean they became employed? Wait until Christmas is over and January begins, then O's programs kick in then we begin????? to pay. Millions will lose their jobs, or the hours they used to be paid, just for O Care. Military cutbacks alone, O's plan, going to cut over 1 million jobs. We re-elected the fiscal cliff. We're going over it no matter what. And all's O's plan is, is to borrow more money, in fact he nows wants a no limit borrowing program. A true ghetto dweller.

December 01 2012 at 9:26 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

Complete BS, wait til the holiday people get layed off or fired.

December 01 2012 at 8:54 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

seasonal jobs.. come jan watch it skyrocket right back to over 8%

December 01 2012 at 8:32 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Oh that's BS

December 01 2012 at 5:58 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Good thing too. Avoids the usuall lay-offs in the Christmas Holiday season when they lay off tons of employees. No wait, they don't do that. Huh? Maybe seasonal employment is helping the numbers?? Nah, couldn't be.

December 01 2012 at 5:14 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gbaker9916's comment
Hello, Glenn!

No, season employment does not affect the unemployment numbers. Do some research on it, huh?

December 01 2012 at 8:09 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Hello, Glenn!'s comment

Your ignorance gets US nowhere. They are counting babysitting jobs this year. Just check it out with the Dept. of Labor. If you mowed a lawn you were working. How do you think the miraculous 800,000 job gain came in Oct. We haven't had 800,000 job gains ever, but before the election. Dept. of Labor says they got those numbers via phone conversations, wiht folks who told them they had done some babysitting work. You are the one who needs to do some real research. Research isn't listening to O's tiresome speeches. That's not research. Where do you think these jobs are? Funny O can never say where they are. Dept. of Labor can. We have 60% under Obama who have found work are doing it for $8 - 13 Hr. (not even rent $$$), want some fries with that burger? We're an uneducated society today, that's how you wind up with an Obama.

December 01 2012 at 9:33 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down

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