Jobless claims fall to 393,000

Applications dropped by 30,603 in New York after an increase of nearly 44,000 the previous week, and they dropped by 11,451 in Pennsylvania, following a more than 7,400 increase. Both states were hard hit by the October storm. 

Sandy hit the East Coast when initial claims were hovering around 375,000 — which is close to the number economists say reflects a healthier labor market. 

Economists forecast that the storm could create jobs in construction and other sectors of the job market as areas along the coast pick up the rebuilding. 

The economy created 171,000 jobs in October as the unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.9 percent, mostly because more people jumped back into the workforce but not everyone found jobs. 

The report for November is due out Dec. 7. 

The economy showed stronger signs of improvement in the July-September quarter, with growth ticking up to 2.7 percent from the first estimate of 2 percent. 

Still, there are concerns that Sandy and the uncertainty around the fiscal talks on Capitol Hill could put a dent in that growth in the final three months of the year.