The nation's economy continued to chug along in the second quarter of 2017, showing increases in gross domestic product (GDP) but also in unemployment claims for hurricane-affected areas.

In its third and final look at how things are going, the Labor Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis reports real GDP expanded at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the April to June period.

The "second" estimate, which came out in August, kept the number more or less the same, putting the increase at 3.0 percent due to bigger private inventory than previously believed.

Corporate profits rose by $14.4 billion in the second quarter after falling by $46.2 billion in the first quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations jumped $59.1 billion, offsetting the decline of $33.8 billion suffered by domestic financial corporations.

The complete report is on the BEA website.

Unemployment claims

Unfortunately, destruction wrought by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma continues to have an impact on the weekly tally of first-time filings for state unemployment benefits.

The Department of Labor (DOL) reports initial applications surged by 12,000 in the week ending September 23 to a seasonally adjusted total of 272,000.

This is a large jump from the previous week's increase of 1,000 new applications.

The four-week moving average, considered by many economists to be a more accurate reflection of the labor market, was 277,750 -- up 9,000 from the previous week's unrevised average and the highest level since February 6, 2016.

The full report is available on the DOL website.

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