Jobless Claims Soar Post Katrina

Posted on September 15, 2005

The Associated Press reports that applications for unemployment benefited soared by 71,000 last week in the first report from the Labor Department that included Katrina-related claims. The Labor Department said 68,000 of the claims were related to the monster hurricane.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that applications for unemployment benefits jumped by 71,000 last week, the biggest increase since the East Coast blizzard of 1996.

The government said 68,000 of those claims were hurricane-related and analysts predicted that number would climb higher in coming weeks as more laid-off workers get around to filing claims and state unemployment offices process a backlog of claims already filed.

In other bad economic news, the Labor Department reported consumer inflation grew by 0.5 percent in August, after a similar jump in July. Both increases were driven by surging energy prices.

Economists said the September figure is likely to be worse, noting that gasoline reached its record high of more than $3 a gallon this month and other fuel prices increased as well.
The report from the Labor Department can be found here on the U.S. Department of Labor website.