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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Fell
by Tom Moeller November 18, 2004

Last week, initial claims for unemployment insurance fell 3,000 to 334,000 from an upwardly revised 337,000 the prior week. The Consensus expectation had been for 333,000 claims and the federal government's closure in observance of the Veterans Day holiday during the week had no impact on the data.

The latest figure covers the survey period for November nonfarm payrolls and claims rose 4,000 (1.2%) from the October period.

The four week moving average of initial claims rose slightly to 338,250 (-9.4% y/y).

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 fell 16,000 following a downwardly revised gain of 15,000 the prior week.

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

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 11/13/04 11/06/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Initial Claims 334 337 -10.0% 402 404 406
Continuing Claims -- 2,792 -19.3% 3,531 3,570 3,018
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