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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims For Jobless Insurance Fell
by Tom Moeller December 30, 2004

Initial claims for unemployment insurance unexpectedly fell by 5,000 to 326,000 last week following a downwardly revised 15,000 rise the week prior. Consensus expectations had been for 335,000 claims.

The four week moving average of initial claims fell to 333,500 (-7.9% 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 jumped 29,000 but have drifted sideways for the last several weeks.

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

"The Economy Gets Back on Track but Once Again Leaves Many Workers Behind" from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is available here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 12/25/04 12/18/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Initial Claims 326 331 -6.6% 402 404 406
Continuing Claims -- 2,755 -16.9% 3,531 3,570 3,018
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