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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims For Jobless Insurance Slip Again
by Tom Moeller August 12, 2004

Initial unemployment insurance claims unexpectedly fell 4,000 to 333,000 last week and the prior week was up revised slightly. Consensus expectations had been for 340,000 claims.

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 to 339,250 (-14.4% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance fell 5,000 following a downwardly revised 46,000 drop the week prior.

The insured rate of unemployment was stable at 2.3%.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 08/07/04 07/31/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Initial Claims    333 337 -16.5% 403 404 406
Continuing Claims    -- 2,896 -19.4% 3,533 3,573 3,023
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