Jobless claims are soaring and they are putting the blame on Hurricane Sandy.
Applications for jobless benefits increased by 78,000 for the week ending November 10, bringing the total to 439,000, up from 361,000, the Labor Department announced on Thursday.
This is the highest it has been in 18 months.
The four-week moving average, a “less volatile” figure, increased by 11,750, bringing the total to 383,750, up from 372,000.
“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the week ending November 3, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week’s revised rate,” the Labor Department report added.
The surge in unemployment claims is being blamed on Superstorm Sandy.
“Superstorm Sandy pushes US jobless claims to 439K,” reads one Associated Press headline.