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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Rose Again
by Tom Moeller December 9, 2004

Initial unemployment insurance claims unexpectedly rose another 8,000 to 357,000 on top of the 25,000 increase during Thanksgiving week. A decline to 335,000 had been the Consensus expectation. Not seasonally adjusted, claims surged 147,300 last week.

The four week moving average of initial claims rose to 341,250 (-7.8% y/y).

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 surged 91,000 following a deepened 38,000 decline the prior week.

The insured rate of unemployment ticked back up to 2.2% from a revised 2.1% the prior week.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 12/04/04 11/27/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Initial Claims 357 349 -5.1% 402 404 406
Continuing Claims -- 2,796 -16.2% 3,531 3,570 3,018
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