Jobless Claims Fall Back to Pre-Hurricane Levels

Number of Americans applying for first-time jobless benefits. The impact from Harvey, Irma and Maria impacted the weeks claims.

The US four-week moving average of initial claims for unemployment insurance was 257,500 last week, down 9,500 from the previous week's revised average, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released today by the US Department of Labor.

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending September 30 were in NY (+3,425), OH (+2,567), Missouri (+2,051), the Virgin Islands (+986), and Oklahoma (+510), while the largest decreases were in Florida (-3,575), MI (-3,485), Texas (-3,041), Kansas (-2,432), and Georgia (-1,987). Claims numbers have remained below 300,000 a week for more than two and a half years, the longest streak since the 1970s.

The number of claims workers made for longer than a week dropped to 1,889,000 in the week ended September 30, the lowest level for continuing claims since December 1973. This is likely a reflection of hurricane-related economic disruptions, though Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands aren't included in national employment data.

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