Jobless Claims Rise From Puerto Rico Shutdown

Initial claims for U.S. unemployment insurance rose dramatically to 367,000 last week, in part a result of the government shutdown in Puerto Rico, which added about 20,000 people to the jobless insurance rolls, the U.S. Labor Department reported on May 18.

Last week's total of first-time claimants was 42,000 higher than the previous week's revised total of 325,000. Even without the effect of the Puerto Rican government shutdown, last week's initial claims figure would have been 347,000, substantially above the 315,000 economists generally expected.

The Labor Department's four-week moving average for initial claims also rose last week, increasing to 333,250, some 15,750 claims more than the previous week's revised average of 317,500.

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