The “I Didn’t Do It” administration blames the hurricanes:
First-time claims for state unemployment aid increased by 14,000 to 350,000 in the week ended Sept. 18 from a revised 336,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said in its weekly report. Wall Street economists had forecast the level of claims would rise to a smaller 340,000.
A four-week moving average of initial claims, which smoothes short-term volatility, edged up to 341,000 from 339,000 — still a level that economists associate with moderate hiring.
The number of people who remained on state unemployment rolls after claiming an initial week of jobless claims edged up to 2.88 million.