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The advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 493,000 for the week ending Sept. 20, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The Associated Press said the number was the highest since November 2001. The Department of Labor said Hurricanes Gustav and Ike helped push initial claims for unemployment up by 50,000.
The four-week moving average of initial jobless claims was 462,500, an increase of 16,000, or 3.6%, from the previous week's revised average of 446,500.