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Economy in Brief

Hurricane Charley Lifted Initial Jobless Claims
by Tom Moeller August 26, 2004

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose 10,000 last week to 343,000. Roughly half of the increase was due to the impact of Hurricane Charley on claims in Florida, according to the Labor Department. The prior week's level was up revised slightly and the Consensus forecast had beenfor 335,000 claims.

Initial claims during the survey period for August nonfarm payrolls fell 8,000 (2.3%) from the July period.

The 4-week moving average of initial claims fell to 336,750 (-15.1% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose 5,000 following a downwardly revised 4,000 gain the week prior.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 2.3%, where it has hovered since the end of April.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 08/21/04 08/14/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Initial Claims 343 333 -12.7% 399 403 403
Continuing Claims -- 2,897 -19.4% 3,516 3,564 2974
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