by Tim Pearce
The number of Americans claiming unemployment insurance fell unexpectedly in late September after economists anticipated destruction from Hurricane Florence to hold claim numbers steady.
The number of unemployment filings edged back toward the lowest rate in nearly five decades. The four-week moving average fell to the lowest rate since October 1973, according to data released by the Department of Labor Thursday.
Roughly 207,000 people filed for initial jobless claims. The amount fell 8,000 from the week prior and outpaced economists’ expectations that the number would continue to sit around 215,000, signaling a stronger labor market that can absorb new workers quickly, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“In the week ending September 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 207,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised level,” according to the Labor Department.
North Carolina, South Carolina and Kentucky posted the largest unemployment numbers, likely due to Hurricane Florence. Many residents in the area might have not filed for benefits yet, which could lead to higher unemployment numbers in those states in the short-term.
The unemployment rate for August measured at 3.9 percent. Economists predict the rate will fall slightly to 3.8 percent in September. September’s initial jobs numbers will be released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday.
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Tim Pearce is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation. Follow Tim Pearce on Twitter.