US jobless claims drop back to pre-storm range
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week fell back to the pre-superstorm Sandy range, suggesting a return to modest job growth after a storm-related set back.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 370,000 in the week ended Dec 1, the Labour Department said on Thursday. It was the third straight weekly decline.
The drop brought them back to the 360,000 to 370,000 range they had been in before Sandy battered the East Coast in late October. Economists had forecast claims falling to just 380,000.
"This signals that the hurricane caused some temporary disruptions in the labor market, but the underlying strength in the labor market has been basically unchanged in recent months," said Mr Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York.