Economic Report: U.S. weekly jobless claims drop ahead of Irma

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A pair of devastating hurricanes, Irma and Harvey, are expected to keep new jobless claims at elevated levels for weeks.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The number of Americans who sought unemployment benefits in early September declined, but the effects of Hurricane Irma could keep new jobless claims at elevated levels over the next few weeks.

Initial jobless claims in the period running from Sept. 3 to Sept. 10 slipped to 284,000 from 298,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Claims had surged at the end of August to a two-and-a-half year high after Hurricane Harvey puts lots of people in the thriving Houston metropolis temporarily out of work.

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