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Economy in Brief

Initial Jobless Insurance Claims Slipped
by Tom Moeller March 3, 2005

Initial claims for unemployment insurance slipped 1,000 to 310,000 last week and the prior week's moderate rise was lessened. Consensus expectations had been for 315,000 claims.

The four week moving average of initial claims fell to 307,0000 (-13.6% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose 12,000 and the prior week's decline was lessened to 52,000.

During the last ten years there has been a (negative) 75% correlation between the level of initial claims for unemployment insurance and the monthly change in payroll employment. There has been a (negative) 66% correlation with the level of continuing claims.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 2.1%.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 02/26/05 02/19/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Initial Claims 310 311 -9.4% 343 402 404
Continuing Claims -- 2,650 -15.8% 2,926 3,531 3,570
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