Analysts encouraged by decline in new jobless applications

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some analysts say they're encouraged by how quickly the number of weekly unemployment applications has returned to the level from before Superstorm Sandy.

The Labor Department says applications dropped 25,000 last week, after seeing a temporary spike caused by the storm.

One private economist says the rapid decline suggests that companies are quickly re-hiring workers who were displaced by the storm. Pierre Ellis of Decision Economics says rebuilding and repair efforts could also be creating jobs.

The storm is likely to depress the November job figures, which will be reported tomorrow. Fears over the looming "fiscal cliff" may also have been a drag on job gains last month.

Some analysts believe the November job gains may be as low as 25,000 to 50,000 because of the storm and the anxiety over the possible budget cuts and tax hikes.

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173-v-33-(Diane Kepley, AP correspondent)--There was a decline in the number of people applying for unemployment benefits last week. AP correspondent Diane Kepley reports. (6 Dec 2012)

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