There were 410,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 41,000 from the level of the week before when the number of applications soared because of the lingering effects of Superstorm Sandy.
The Employment and Training Administration just released the latest figure. At 410,000, claims were still running at a pace above the pre-Sandy range of 350,000 to 400,000 a week.
Bloomberg News starts its report on the news this way: "Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week as damage to the labor market caused by superstorm Sandy began to subside. ... The level of claims reflects the economic drag associated with Sandy, which made landfall in the Northeast on Oct. 29, killing more than 100 in the U.S. and leaving about 8 million homes and businesses without power for days."