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Economy in Brief

Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Bounced Up
by Tom Moeller December 23, 2004

Initial unemployment insurance claims bounced up 17,000 to 333,000 last week following the sharp 45,000 drop the week prior. Consensus expectations had been for 335,000 claims.

The latest figure is for the December survey period of nonfarm payrolls and claims fell a slight 2,000 (-0.6%) from the November survey period.

The four week moving average of initial claims rose to 340,000 (-7.6% 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 fell another 9,000 and added to the deepened 57,000 decline the prior week.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 2.2%, where it's been since early October.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 12/18/04 12/11/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Initial Claims 333 316 -8.0% 402 404 406
Continuing Claims -- 2,721 -16.9% 3,531 3,570 3,018
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