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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Jobless claims show big decline but are still affected by Sandy

Superstorm (or Hurricane) Sandy is still affecting the initial weekly jobless claims number. While this week's came in at roughly 40,000 lower than the previous week, they still remain at about 410,000.

The claims are usually a fairly reliable gauge of the direction of the jobs market, but because of the storm's impact, they aren't right now. And the same thing is expected to happen when the unemployment rate report for November is released in a couple of weeks. It, too, will be distorted.

So for the time being, these important reports should be taken with a grain of salt, no matter if they rise or fall unexpectedly. It will take a few more weeks to sort out.

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