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Jobless Claims Drop, Impacts of Hurricanes Felt in U.S. Labor Market

Last week, the number of unemployment benefit claims unexpectedly dropped by 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 259,000, according to the Labor Department. Yet, Hurricane’s Harvey and Irma clouded the U.S. labor market picture and affected claims in Texas and Florida, which account for roughly 14% of jobs.

Economists predict the job market will continue to feel the affects of the storms that have already passed, as well as another on the horizon. The four-week moving average of claims, which tends to iron out week-to-week volatility, rose 6,000 to 268,750 last week. That is the highest level since June 2016, and hints at a further slowdown in job growth.

Claims had been forecast to rise to 300,000 in the latest week but remained below the 300,000 threshold for the 133rd straight week, a level considered to be a robust labor market, and the longest stretch since 1970.


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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

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