MW: U.S. weekly initial jobless claims rise 1,000 to 497,000
By Ruth Mantell
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. weekly jobless claims remained at their highest level in seven years, the Labor Department reported Thursday, as people in the hurricane-hit states of Louisiana and Texas filed for benefits. For the week ended Sept. 27, seasonally adjusted first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose 1,000, to 497,000 - the highest level since late September 2001. Without the hurricane-related effects, initial claims would have been about 439,000. The four-week average of claims rose 11,500 to 474,000 -- the highest since October 2001. For the week ended Sept. 20, continuing claims rose 48,000 to 3.59 million -- the highest since September 2003. The four-week average of continuing claims rose 46,750 to 3.53 million -- the highest since October 2003.