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Economy in Brief

Initial Jobless Insurance Claims Down
by Tom Moeller November 4, 2004

Last week, initial claims for unemployment insurance again reversed the prior period's change with a 19,000 decline to 332,000.The Consensus expectation had been for 340,000 claims.

Back and forth weekly gyrations of this order were the rule during October and the average level of initial claims for the month settled at 341,000, down slightly from 344,000 in September.

During the last ten years there has been a (negative) 73% correlation between the level of initial claims and the m/m change in payroll employment.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance dropped 20,000 and reversed most of the prior week's gain.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 2.2% for the fourth week.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 10/30/04 10/23/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Initial Claims 332 351 -9.0% 402 404 406
Continuing Claims -- 2,800 -19.1% 3,531 3,570 3,018
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