Initial jobless claims spiked 62k last week - thanks to a 51k surge in Texas - as the impact of Hurricane Harvey ripples (transitorily) through economic data.
This 26% spike in claims is the largest since 2005 (and biggest absolute rise since 2012).
The 298k print is the highest since April 2015.
The results are among the first to show that Harvey, which made landfall on Aug. 25 along the Gulf Coast in Texas, will cause swings in broader economic data. Employment may be depressed initially until rebuilding and recovery efforts in flooded areas around Houston take hold.