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Graph showing four-week moving average of first-time unemployment claims.
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First-time unemployment claims seem to be settling back to normal (that's normal, 2012-style) after weeks of jumping around wildly due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Seasonally adjusted claims fell to 370,000, a drop of 25,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 395,000, the Department of Labor announced Thursday. The four-week moving average, which smooths volatility, rose by 2,250 to 408,000.

The hurricane had caused unemployment claims to drop, as people were unable to file in the immediate aftermath of the storm, then rise, as its economic impact was felt. The 370,000 claims being reported for last week fall within the 360,000 to 380,000 range that has held for most of 2012. But the storm's effects are fading just as another source of volatility kicks in:

A Labor Department analyst said the weekly numbers around this time of year are hard to read into because non-seasonally adjusted data are particularly volatile as the year ends and industries like construction and agriculture have planned layoffs.
The monthly employment report comes out Friday morning; Hurricane Sandy is expected to have minimized jobs gains in November.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:04 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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