Hurricans add half a million to unemployed in US

The number of people who have lost their jobs in the US as a result of recent hurricanes has topped 500,000.

The Labor Department that, in the past two months and as a result of hurricanes Katrina and Rita were, 502,000 jobs have been lost, with 24,000 going last week alone.

There may be further cuts ahead due to the effects of hurricane Wilma, which hit Florida last Monday.

Total first-time claims for state unemployment insurance benefits were 328,000 for the week to 22 October.

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