Hurricane Harvey lifts U.S. jobless claims to over two-year high

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Hurricane Harvey lifts U.S. jobless claims to over two-year high

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits jumped to its highest level in more than two years last week amid a surge in applications in hurricane-ravaged Texas, but the underlying trend remained constant with a firming jobs market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits soared by 62,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000 for the week ended Sept. 2, the highest level since April 2015, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The weekly increase was the largest since November 2012. Data for the prior week was unrevised. A Labor Department official said the data of last week were impacted by Hurricane Harvey, which devastated parts of Texas, including unprecedented flooding in Houston. 51,637 was jumped by unadjusted claims for Texas final week as some people found themselves temporarily unemployed. The storm and increased 258 affected claims for Louisiana. In addition, claims for California, Hawaii, Kansas, Puerto Rico, Virginia and Wyoming were estimated because of the Labor Day holiday on Monday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to. The four-week moving average of claims, considered a measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, increased by 13,500 to suggesting the labor market continued to strength. The government reported that the market generated 156,000 jobs in August, with the services sector hiring the lowest number of workers in five months. Economists dismissed the slowdown in job growth, blaming it on a quirk that was seasonal. Over the past several decades, the August job count has tended to exhibit a bias, with revisions showing strength. The claims report also revealed the amount of people still getting benefits after an initial week of aid fell 5,000 to 1.94 million in the week ended Aug. 26. The claims have been below the two million mark for 21 weeks. The four-week moving average of continuing claims slipped 4,000 to 1.95 million, staying below the two million mark for the 19th consecutive week. Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea RicciOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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