Weekly US jobless claims fall to 355K last week - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Weekly US jobless claims fall to 355K last week

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WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- The number of people seeking unemployment benefits last week fell by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 355,000, a possible sign of a healing job market. But officials say that the figures were distorted by Superstorm Sandy.

Applications declined in one state because its unemployment office lost power during the storm and wasn't able to receive applications, a department spokesman said. The agency wouldn't identify the state.

The storm also pushed up applications in other states because those temporarily out of work sought benefits.

The Labor Department says that the four-week average of applications rose 3,250 to 370,500.

If sustained, the decline in applications would be a good sign. Still, officials say the storm could affect the figures for up to three to four weeks.

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