Weekly Jobless Claims Fell to 355,000

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
weekly jobless claims fell

(Reuters) -- 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.

More:Hurricane Sandy Victims Can Get Unemployment Help

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.


Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now



Looking for a job? Click here to get started.

Read Full Story

Want more news like this?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners

19 of the Creepiest, Most Inexplicable Things People Ever Experienced 19 of the Creepiest, Most Inexplicable Things People Ever Experienced
This Elephant Was Separated From Her Mother As A Baby - But She's About To Get A Huge This Elephant Was Separated From Her Mother As A Baby - But She's About To Get A Huge
Man Built This Contraption In His Backyard - And Even He Was Surprised How Well It Worked Man Built This Contraption In His Backyard - And Even He Was Surprised How Well It Worked