WASHINGTON — Initial unemployment claims fell 8,000 to 355,000 in the November 3 week, as severe seasonal adjustment held the total down.
A Labor Department analyst said there were some claims from hurricane Sandy but it might take several more weeks for the storm to "work through" the data.
The analyst said one state indicated claims were lessened by the storm but more are coming (power outages closed intake offices), but several states said activity already is elevated. Only Oregon's claims were estimated and this was not a hurricane effect. The overall effect of the storm so far was "a mixed bag" he said.
Unemployment claims averaged 370,000 in October after 376,000 in September, little changed. The latest number is a slight downtick, but not by enough to alter the outlook, especially given the possibility that claims still could jump in the aftermath of the storm.
Continuing claims came in at 3.127 million after seasonal adjustment in the October 27, a decline of 135,000 from the previous week.
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