News Summary: Sandy Boosts US Jobless Data

The Associated Press

SANDY SPARKS LAYOFFS: U.S. unemployment benefit applications were elevated for a second straight week because Superstorm Sandy forced many people to seek temporary aid. First-time applications fell 41,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 410,000, the Labor Department said.

MORE DISTORTIONS LIKELY: Two weeks ago, the storm drove applications up by 90,000 to 451,000, an 18-month high. Workers can claim benefits if their employers close and they aren't paid. Sandy could inflate applications for another week.

JOB GAINS TO SLOW: The storm may slow job growth this month. That's because monthly job gains are calculated by subtracting layoffs and quits from overall hiring.
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