Nov. 21 - Fewer Americans filed for new unemployment benefits, but the number remains hefty due to super storm Sandy. Conway G. Gittens reports.
410,000 is the daily digit today. This is the number of new applications for unemployment benefits filed in the U.S. last week. It is lower than a week earlier, but still pretty hefty because of super storm Sandy. The massive storm left millions of homes and businesses without electricity, shut down public transportation and led many factories in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast to curtail production. Retail sales fell as Sandy slammed the brakes on automobile purchases last month. The storm has also distorted a range of economic indicators making it harder to gauge the underlying health of the U.S. economy. But most analysts say the storm's economic impact is likely to be temporary and that the new jobless claim data point to a struggling jobs market.