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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Dropped Sharply
by Tom Moeller September 9, 2004

Initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped 44,000 to 319,000 last week, the lowest level in two months. The Consensus forecast had beenfor 345,000 claims.

The 4-week moving average of initial claims fell to 339,250 (-16.0% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose 20,000 following a downwardly revised 9,000 decline the week prior.

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

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 09/04/04 08/28/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Initial Claims 319 363 -22.8% 399 403 403
Continuing Claims -- 2,898 -19.7% 3,516 3,564 2974
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