Fewer hurricane-related claims in Louisiana and Mississippi were one notable reason initial claims for unemployment insurance fell by 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted 328,000 last week, the U.S. Labor Department reported on October 27. The number of claims is dramatically lower from the 391,000 recorded just two weeks before and well below the 340,000 claims economists generally expected for last week. Before the Gulf Coast hurricanes, initial jobless claims were running about 320,000 a week.
The department's four-week moving average of initial jobless claims remains considerably higher than the most recent weekly figure. Nevertheless, last week's moving average of 366,500 claims was 10,000 lower than the previous week's revised average of 376,500.