Decrease attributed to Hurricane Sandy
Initial claims for unemployment benefits in the week ending Nov. 3 dropped 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 355,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The four-week moving average, a less volatile number that flattens out week-to-week fluctuations in the data, was 370,500, an increase of 3,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 367,250. While first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell to their lowest level in a month, the decrease is being attributed primarily to Hurricane Sandy, which closed offices last week and kept people from filing claims. The number of Americans filing for continuing unemployment claims during the week ending Oct. 27 was 3,127,000, a decrease of 135,000 from the preceding week. States reported 2,117,175 2 persons claiming emergency unemployment benefits for the week ending Oct. 20, an increase of 18,529 from the prior week. There were 2,953,824 claimants in the comparable week in 2011. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending Oct. 20 was 5,077,231, an increase of 41,864 from the previous week. There were 6,835,604 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2011. The largest increases in initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending Oct. 27 were in California, Indiana, Minnesota, Oregon, and Wisconsin. The largest decreases were in Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Tennessee.