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Economy in Brief

Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Fell Unexpectedly
by Tom Moeller November 24, 2004

Last week, initial claims for unemployment insurance fell 12,000 to 323,000 from a little revised 335,000 the prior week. The Consensus expectation had been for 335,000 claims.

The four week moving average of initial claims fell to 332,000 (-9.7% y/y), the lowest level since November 2000.

During the last ten years there has been a (negative) 82% correlation between the level of initial claims and the y/y change in payroll employment.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance fell 29,000 following a downwardly revised 24,000 drop the prior week.

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

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 11/20/04 11/13/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Initial Claims 323 335 -10.8% 402 404 406
Continuing Claims -- 2,755 -18.1% 3,531 3,570 3,018
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