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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 08:40, October 28, 2005
US hurricane-related job losses up to over half million
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The number of Americans who lost their jobs because of hurricanes Katrina and Rita has now climbed above the half-million mark with further increases expected in coming weeks from Hurricane Wilma, a report by US Labor Department said on Thursday.

The department reported that an additional 24,000 people who lost jobs because of the devastating Gulf of Mexico coast storms filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, pushing the total over the past eight weeks to 502,000 hurricane-related claims.

The 24,000 hurricane-related jobless claims last week were included in total jobless claims of 328,000. However, the overall figure was down from 356,000 jobless applications for the week ending October 15.

US weekly job losses from Katrina and Rita peaked at 108,000 in mid-September and have been trending lower since then. However, some analysts said that Wilma, which hit Florida on Monday, will likely spark a renewed surge in jobless claims in coming weeks.

US unemployment rate rose to 5.1 percent in September in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Rita which hit the Gulf Coast late August and September.

Source: Xinhua

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