Fewer seek US jobless aid as storm distorts data - New York News

Fewer seek US jobless aid as storm distorts data

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to a seasonally adjusted 410,000, though the figure was elevated for the second straight week by Superstorm Sandy.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that applications dropped by 41,000 from the previous week, when the storm drove applications to their highest level in 18 months. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose by 9,500 to 396,250.

Sandy could distort the data for another week, department officials say. The storm caused nearly 44,000 people in New York and 31,000 in New Jersey to seek benefits two weeks ago, according to the latest state data available.

Before the storm, weekly applications had fluctuated this year between 360,000 and 390,000. At the same time, employers added an average of nearly 157,000 jobs a month. That's barely enough to lower the unemployment rate, which was 7.9 percent in October.

There are some signs the job market is improving. Employers added 171,000 jobs in October and hiring in August and September was stronger than first estimated, the department said earlier this month. The economy gained an average of 174,000 jobs a month in the July-September quarter. That's up from 67,000 a month in April through June.

The unemployment rate rose slightly in October because more Americans began looking for work. That suggests some felt their chances of finding a job had improved. Not all of them were hired, which pushed up the unemployment rate. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively searching for work.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a speech Tuesday that despite some improvement, the job market is still weak. According to minutes of the Fed's last policy meeting, the central bank may unveil a bond buying program in December to drive down long-term interest rates and boost growth and hiring.

One bright spot for the economy is the steady housing recovery. Economists hope that it could lead to more hiring. Homebuilders broke ground last month on the most new homes and apartments in more than four years. Builders' confidence increased this month to its highest level in 6 1/2 years.

Sales of previously occupied homes have risen nearly 11 percent in the past year. And home prices are also increasing steadily, which makes homeowners feel wealthier and could encourage them to spend more.

The economy is expanding at a modest pace. Many economists now predict growth at an annual rate of roughly 3 percent in the July-September quarter, up from the initial estimate of 2 percent reported last month. The government releases its second estimate for third-quarter growth on Nov. 29.

Still, many economists say the economy is growing in the current October-December quarter at an annual rate below 2 percent -- too slow to make much of a dent in unemployment.

  • Your MoneyMore>>

  • NYC Denny's features $300 breakfast

    NYC Denny's features $300 breakfast

    Friday, August 29 2014 4:04 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:04:13 GMT
    Diner chain Denny's is opening it's first New York City location, complete with a big-city "deal".   How does a $300 breakfast sound?    The Denny's is located at the corner of Nassau and Spruce in Lower Manhattan's Financial District.  Along with its normal food you can get at just about any location in the rest of the country, this location will offer a Grand Slam breakfast with a bottle of 2003 Dom Perignon champagne.
    Diner chain Denny's is opening it's first New York City location, complete with a big-city "deal".   How does a $300 breakfast sound?    The Denny's is located at the corner of Nassau and Spruce in Lower Manhattan's Financial District.  Along with its normal food you can get at just about any location in the rest of the country, this location will offer a Grand Slam breakfast with a bottle of 2003 Dom Perignon champagne.
  • Some Showboat workers get new jobs within company

    Some Showboat workers get new jobs within company

    Friday, August 29 2014 2:54 PM EDT2014-08-29 18:54:36 GMT
    More than 470 of the 2,000-plus workers at Atlantic City's Showboat Casino Hotel have found new jobs with other casinos owned by its parent company. The Showboat is shutting down Sunday afternoon after 27 years on the Boardwalk.
    More than 470 of the 2,000-plus workers at Atlantic City's Showboat Casino Hotel have found new jobs with other casinos owned by its parent company. The Showboat is shutting down Sunday afternoon after 27 years on the Boardwalk.
  • Teens want back-to-school gadgets, not clothes

    Teens want back-to-school gadgets, not clothes

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:52 PM EDT2014-08-29 01:52:52 GMT
    For many students, school starts next week. So what will your teens be asking you to buy? Technology.That's right: they are willing to wear last year's clothes and instead spend money on the latest tech. Gone are the days of securing your status in high school with the right clothes. Now your teens need to own the newest tablet or smart phone and its accessories.
    For many students, school starts next week. So what will your teens be asking you to buy? Technology.That's right: they are willing to wear last year's clothes and instead spend money on the latest tech. Gone are the days of securing your status in high school with the right clothes. Now your teens need to own the newest tablet or smart phone and its accessories.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Labor Day dishes by Chef Jason Tilmann

    Labor Day dishes by Chef Jason Tilmann

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:57 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:57:58 GMT
    If you're looking to beef up your Labor Day barbecue with something different, Chef Jason Tilmann, the executive chef at Strand Bistro in Midtown Manhattan, has some ideas and tips. Chef Tilmann demonstrated several dishes.
    If you're looking to beef up your Labor Day barbecue with something different, Chef Jason Tilmann, the executive chef at Strand Bistro in Midtown Manhattan, has some ideas and tips. Chef Tilmann demonstrated several dishes.
  • O'Neill Theater: where stars were born

    O'Neill Theater: where stars were born

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:37 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:37:42 GMT
    It's a running joke that if you mention the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center to nearly anyone in Hollywood they're going to know exactly what you're talking about because odds are they might have gotten their first big break there. Would you believe some Hollywood's biggest stars -- Meryl Streep, Michael Douglas, Angela Bassett -- got their start in a big red barn in the middle of nowhere.
    It's a running joke that if you mention the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center to nearly anyone in Hollywood they're going to know exactly what you're talking about because odds are they might have gotten their first big break there. Would you believe some Hollywood's biggest stars -- Meryl Streep, Michael Douglas, Angela Bassett -- got their start in a big red barn in the middle of nowhere.
  • Taxi hits and kills woman in Manhattan

    Taxi hits and kills woman in Manhattan

    Friday, August 29 2014 4:38 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:38:46 GMT
    A taxicab slammed into a woman on the Upper East Side, killing her, police said. The cab, driven by a 30-year-old man, made a left turn onto East 79 Street from Madison Avenue and hit the woman, who was trying to cross the street, the NYPD said.
    A taxicab slammed into a woman on the Upper East Side, killing her, police said. The cab, driven by a 30-year-old man, made a left turn onto East 79 Street from Madison Avenue and hit the woman, who was trying to cross the street, the NYPD said.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices