About 355,000 people filed for first-time unemployment benefits in the week ended November 3, down 8,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday.
That level is the lowest in a month, but it reflects data that was distorted by the storm. At least one state was not able to process claims due to power outages, a Labor Department official said.
As of Thursday morning, New Jersey's Department of Labor and Workforce Development was experiencing delays in processing claims.
"Due to Sandy and the higher than normal volume of unemployment insurance filings, the system is experiencing some delays," its website said. "Please be patient. Our technical team is working on the problem."
Claims are likely to head higher in the following week, as the storm damage led to temporary job losses. In the hardest hit areas, schools were closed for more than a week.
Schools alone can cause major disruptions to the initial claims data when they're closed unexpectedly, as contract workers like cafeteria servers, janitors and bus drivers can file unemployment claims when they're not working -- even if it's merely temporarily.
The national unemployment rate was 7.9% in October, as 12.3 million people were counted as officially unemployed. Not all of those people receive benefits though.
|Feds seize 14 7-Eleven stores in ID theft case|
|Kickstarter pulls plug on scam minutes before $120,000 heist|
|10,000 Apple accounts subject to data requests|
|NASA selects more women astronauts|
|Builders say housing is back|
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.98%||4.06%|
|15 yr fixed||3.09%||3.19%|
|30 yr refi||3.97%||4.05%|
|15 yr refi||3.08%||3.17%|
Today's featured rates:
|Latest Report||Next Update|
|Inflation (CPI)||June 18|
|Consumer confidence||June 25|
|Home prices||June 25|
|Manufacturing (ISM)||July 1|