Hurricane adds 68,000 to claimant count in US

The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in the US has hit a 10-year high in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.


Approximately 71,000 people signed up for benefits last week with 68,000 of those claims directly attributable to the effect of the disaster, the US Labor Department said.


In the UK, official figures showed this week that unemployment levels in the UK have risen for a seventh month in a row, but the long-term trend is flat.


The number of people out of work rose 12,000 to 1.42 million in the quarter to August, while those claiming benefit rose 1,600 to 866,200 last month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.


However, the quarterly unemployment rate remained flat at 4.7% – the lowest level for 30 years.

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