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Economy in Brief

Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Tick Up
by Tom Moeller July 29, 2004

Initial claims for jobless insurance unexpectedly rose 4,000 to 345,000 following a 9,000 worker decline the prior week that was revised shallower from the initial report.

The revision pulled initial claims in the July survey period for non-farm payrolls 1.5% above the June period. During the last ten years there has been a (negative) 75% correlation between the level of initial jobless claims and the m/m change in non-farm payrolls.

The 4-week moving average of initial claims fell slightly to 336,250 (-17.3% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance jumped 174,000 following a 168,000 worker decline the prior week that was little revised.

The insured rate of unemployment ticked up to 2.3% from 2.2% the prior week.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 7/24/04 7/17/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Initial Claims    345 341 -12.4% 403 404 406
Continuing Claims    -- 2,960 -17.7% 3,533 3,573 3,023
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