jobless claims

Last week, jobless claims dropped after they surged in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. For the week ending Nov. 17, approximately 410,000 people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time. That’s 41,000 fewer than the number of those who filed the week before. Those numbers come from the Labor Department.

However, the department later revised the data for the week ending Nov. 10, which resulted in a 90,000 claim spike. The largest majority of those claims were from states affected by Hurricane Sandy, including Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. According to a spokesperson from the Labor Department, most of those claims were due to the super storm. The agency also reports that the sudden increase was the largest in just one week since 2005 after Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast in late October and knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of people. That caused a delay in residents of the area being able to file for unemployment. It also caused many companies to temporarily lay off their employees, because the storm forced them to close their doors temporarily.

At this point, analysts believe it could take a few more weeks before jobless claims settle back to the level they were at in the weeks before Sandy hit. On average, the states affected by the super storm filed approximately 367,000 first-time unemployment claims each week.

Analysts from Deutsche Bank point out that it took about two weeks for jobless claims to reach their peak after Hurricane Katrina, and they say that it looks like Sandy’s jobless claims may peak after just one week. However, they also expect that jobless claims will remain near 400,000 over the next couple of weeks. Deutsche Bank analysts also say they expect rebuilding efforts from Sandy’s aftermath to improve unemployment, at least through the second quarter of 2013.