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Economy in Brief

Initial Jobless Insurance Claims Rose
by Tom Moeller October 14, 2004

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose 15,000 last week to 352,000 after a 35,000 decline the prior week that was little revised. Consensus expectations had been for 345,000 claims.

The increase may have reflected aberrant seasonal adjustment factors.

The 4-week moving average of initial claims rose to 353,000 (-9.7% 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.

Ongoing claims for unemployment insurance continued lower by 11,000 following a decline the prior week that was revised deeper to 9,000.

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

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 10/09/04 10/02/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Initial Claims 352 337 -9.0% 402 404 406
Continuing Claims -- 2,845 -20.4% 3,531 3,570 3,018
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