Jobless Claims Rise Due to Hurricane Gustav

WASHINGTON - Government data show new applications for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week due to the impact of Hurricane Gustav.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that initial jobless claims rose to a seasonally adjusted 455,000, up 10,000 from the prior week. Analysts had expected claims to fall to 440,000.

A Labor Department analyst said last week's number is the first to include claims stemming from job losses caused by Hurricane Gustav, which slammed into the Louisiana coast over the Labor Day weekend. Louisiana was unable to report actual claims until last week, the analyst said.