clear
Wednesday September 20th, 2017 9:33PM

Hurricane Harvey spikes US jobless aid applications to 298K

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits soared last week by the most in nearly five years, driven by Hurricane Harvey's impact on Texas and Louisiana.

THE NUMBERS: Weekly applications for jobless aid jumped 62,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000, reaching the highest level in two years, the Labor Department said Thursday. The less volatile four-week average rose to 250,250.

Applications soared by more than 51,000 in Texas, a five-fold increase, and ticked up 258 in Louisiana.

The number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits slipped 5,000 to 1.94 million. That's nearly 10 percent lower than a year earlier.

THE TAKEAWAY: Americans who have lost jobs through no fault of their own can seek unemployment aid. Natural disasters can frequently cause spikes. Superstorm Sandy drove the last huge increase in applications in 2012.

Excluding the impact of the storm, the data suggest the job market remains healthy. Applications are a proxy for layoffs, and have hovered at historically low levels for two years. Many employers are complaining that they can't find qualified workers, which makes them less likely to cut their current staffs. As a result, Americans are enjoying a high degree of job security.

KEY DRIVERS: The economy accelerated this spring, fueled by strong consumer spending. It expanded at a 3 percent annual pace, after growing at less than half that rate in the first three months of the year.

Hiring slowed in August, when employers added 156,000 jobs, below last year's average monthly gains but still enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. Unemployment is at 4.4 percent, near a 16-year low.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Business News, Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP Business, Submitted News, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US productivity improved at ho-hum 1.5 pct. rate in spring
US workers' productivity increased at lukewarm 1.5 percent in spring, as labor costs barely rose
8:36AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Hurricane Harvey spikes US jobless aid applications to 298K
Applications for US unemployment benefits jump to 298,000 in wake of Hurricane Harvey
8:35AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Pregnant Kate misses Prince George's 1st day at school
Prince George went to school for the first time Thursday, but it was a rite of passage missed by his mother, who is struggling with acute morning sickness in the early stages of her third pregnancy
8:35AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
ECB leaves stimulus settings unchanged, markets await Draghi
Markets are waiting to see whether European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will try to talk the euro down as he discusses the future of stimulus for the 19-country eurozone economy
8:05AM ( 41 minutes ago )
The Latest: EU says Britain has to meet budget commitments
The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has insisted that Britain should meet all the budget commitments it has made to the bloc.
7:51AM ( 55 minutes ago )
ECB leaves interest rates, stimulus program unchanged
Markets are waiting to see whether European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will try to talk the euro down as he discusses the future of stimulus for the 19-country eurozone economy
7:49AM ( 56 minutes ago )
AP Business
The Latest: McConnell nearly doubles Harvey aid package
The Senate is doubling the initial Harvey aid package. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the move at midnight.
6:03AM ( 2 hours ago )
World shares mixed, investors await ECB on stimulus plans
World shares are mixed as investors weigh U.S. debt deal with Fischer's departure from Fed, lingering North Korean tensions
4:55AM ( 3 hours ago )
Trump overrules GOP with deal on spending, debt, Harvey aid
President Donald Trump has overruled leaders of his own party, siding with Democrats on a deal to fund the government and increase the nation's debt limit for three month _ all part of an agreement to rush disaster aid to Harvey victims
3:25AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
US productivity improved at ho-hum 1.5 pct. rate in spring
US workers' productivity increased at lukewarm 1.5 percent in spring, as labor costs barely rose
8:36AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Pregnant Kate misses Prince George's 1st day at school
Prince George went to school for the first time Thursday, but it was a rite of passage missed by his mother, who is struggling with acute morning sickness in the early stages of her third pregnancy
8:35AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Trump's catchphrase for any circumstance: "We'll see"
When in doubt, President Donald Trump has a ready-made response to any and all questions: "We'll see."
8:31AM ( 14 minutes ago )
European markets buoyed by ECB inaction; all eyes on Draghi
European stock markets and the euro remained firm Thursday as the European Central Bank kept policy unchanged and said in a statement that it stands read to provide the eurozone economy a further stimulus if needed.
8:30AM ( 15 minutes ago )
New phase in Russia probe as Trump Jr. heads to Capitol
Donald Trump Jr.'s scheduled visit to Capitol Hill on Thursday marks a new phase in the Senate investigation of Moscow's meddling in the 2016 election and a meeting that the president's eldest son had with Russians during the campaign
8:30AM ( 16 minutes ago )