US unemployment aid applications drop to 370K
The storm is also likely to depress November's job figures, which the government will report Friday. And fears over looming tax increases and spending cuts, known as the "fiscal cliff," may have also dragged on job gains last month.
Economists expect employers added 110,000 jobs in November, according to FactSet. And they think the unemployment rate will remain 7.9 percent.
Some analysts expect much lower job gains, roughly 25,000 to 50,000, because of Sandy and anxiety over the fiscal cliff.
Still, most analysts say the underlying economy remains healthy and is creating jobs at a modest but steady pace.
Without the depressive effects of Superstorm Sandy and the cliff, many think employers would have added up to 200,000 jobs last month — even stronger than the solid 171,000 jobs added in October. And it would be better than the 174,000 jobs a month averaged in the July-September quarter.
The number of people continuing to receive unemployment aid also fell. Total recipients dropped almost 225,000 to just under 5 million in the week ended Nov. 17, the latest data available.
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