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--5 Things We Learned From the October 13 Claims Data
By Shikha Dave and Harrison Clarke
     WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following are the key points from the weekly 
US unemployment insurance claims data for the October 13 survey week 
released by the Labor Department Thursday: 
     - The initial claims data fell by 5,000 to 210,000 in the October 
13 employment survey week, as expected by analysts in an MNI survey.   
     - The level of initial claims is likely to rise sharply in the 
coming weeks as the impact of Hurricane Michael is felt by displaced 
workers. Florida claims fell by 649 from the previous week, likely 
because workers did not file the same week as the hurricane hit. The 
timing of their filings may be spread out throughout the weeks, rather 
than all concentrated in one week, as workers return to the affected 
     - The level of initial claims was up 8,000 from the 202,000 level 
in the September 15 employment survey week and represents a very tight 
labor market. However, how much of that filters through to the October 
employment report remains to be seen. It is likely that average hourly 
earnings and weekly hours will be affected by the hurricanes. 
     - The four-week moving average rose by 2,000 to 211,750 this week. 
The average was up 5,750 from the 206,000 average in the September 15 
employment survey week and would fall next week were it not for the 
expected impact of the hurricane on the data. 
     - Continuing claims fell by 13,000 to 1.640m in the October 6 week, 
while the four-week average decreased by 1,250 to 1.653m. The insured 
unemployment rate was unchanged at 1.2% in the previous week, down from 
1.4% in the same week a year ago. 
     ** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **