Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 55° Partly Cloudy
News >  Business

Claims for U.S. jobless aid rise by 12,000 to 272,000

In this July 24, 2017, file photo, a sign advertising employment hangs outside a restaurant in Middleton, Mass. (Elise Amendola / Associated Press)
In this July 24, 2017, file photo, a sign advertising employment hangs outside a restaurant in Middleton, Mass. (Elise Amendola / Associated Press)
By Paul Wiseman Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose by 12,000 last week to 272,000 as Florida continued to absorb the economic impact of Hurricane Irma.

The Labor Department says the less-volatile four-week average rose by 9,000 to 277,750, highest since February 2016.

In the aftermath of Irma, claims rose 81 percent in Florida from a week earlier. But claims fell 29 percent in Texas as the economic impact of Hurricane Harvey continued to fade.

Despite the impact of the storms, the overall level of claims remains low, suggesting that most American workers enjoy job security. The unemployment rate is at 4.4 percent, near a 16-year low.

Employers are adding an average 176,000 jobs a month so far in 2017, solid but down from 187,000 a month last year.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.