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Hurricane-related job losses rise

Job losses related to the devastating Gulf Coast hurricanes climbed to 521,400 last week with layoffs from Hurricane Wilma showing up for the first time, the Labor Department reported Thursday. It counted an additional 18,000 layoffs linked to hurricanes Katrina and Rita and 1,400 layoffs tied to Hurricane Wilma. The total of 19,400 storm-related claims was the smallest weekly increase in the nine weeks the government has been tracking the damage the hurricanes have done to the nation’s labor market, AP reported.

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