Claims for U.S. jobless aid fall as hurricane impact recedes

Claims for U.S. jobless aid fall as hurricane impact recedes”

New claims for USA jobless benefits fell for the second week in a row despite the massive economic disruptions from back-to-back hurricanes, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

However, there has been a decline in initial claims for state unemployment benefits by 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 259,000 for the week ended September 16, as per the Labor Department.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, jumped by 44,000 to 1.980 million in the week ended September 9th.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the less-volatile four-week average rose by 6,000 to 268,750.

Applications for unemployment insurance last week were estimated for SC and the Virgin Islands.

The decrease suggested September job creation may not suffer as badly as feared from the hurricane destruction in Texas and Florida, since the latest data are from the survey week used to calculate the government's key monthly employment report.

Claims in Texas declined by an unadjusted 23,549 last week. Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

Swings in the figures may continue for several weeks, following the pattern seen after major storms such as Sandy in the Northeast in 2012. The Atlantic hurricane season has nonetheless upended a trend that saw dismissals near the lowest level in more than four decades.

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