U.S. Jobless Claims Fall to 44-Year Low

Power outages in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands forcing people to submit paper applications, curtailing electronic process

WASHINGTON—The number of Americans filing applications for new unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in 44 years, reflecting power outages in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that have disrupted the application process.

Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., fell by 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 222,000 in the week ended Oct. 14, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The...

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