Superstorm Sandy sends jobless claims up sharply

Superstorm Sandy

Julio Cortez/AP

A rollercoaster that once sat on the Funtown Pier in Seaside Heights, N.J., rests in the ocean on Oct. 31, 2012. The pier was washed away by superstorm Sandy.

There were 439,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 78,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. Behind the big increase: Superstorm Sandy, which threw some people in the Mid-Atlantic onto the unemployment rolls and shut down state unemployment offices the week before — meaning that some claims were postponed into last week.

In other economic news, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that consumer prices barely rose last month. The bureau's consumer price index ticked up just 0.1 percent from September. A 0.6 percent drop in gasoline prices was a large factor. In the past 12 months, prices have risen 2.2 percent.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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