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New jobless claims last week fell much more sharply than expected, a reassuring sign that the damaging effects from Hurricane Sandy to the labor market have largely passed.
The Labor Department said Thursday that 370,000 people filed initial claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended Saturday, down from a revised 395,000 in the prior week.
The economy added 171,000 new jobs in October, according to the Labor Department, but analysts are forecasting a number closer to 100,000 for November because of Hurricane Sandy.