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Economy in Brief

Initial Jobless Insurance Claims Up
by Tom Moeller September 16, 2004

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose 16,000 last week to 333,000 following the huge 43,000 drop the week prior that was little revised. Consensus expectations had been for a larger rise to 345,000.

The 4-week moving average of initial claims was stable at 338,000 (-16.6% y/y). During the last ten years there has been an 81% (negative) correlation between the monthly average of initial claims and the y/y change in payroll employment.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance fell 3,000 following a downwardly revised 7,000 gain the week prior.

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

"Two Measures of Employment: How Different Are They?" from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 09/11/04 09/04/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Initial Claims 333 317 -17.0% 399 403 403
Continuing Claims -- 2,882 -19.8% 3,516 3,564 2974
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