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Economy in Brief

Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Up
by Tom Moeller March 10, 2005

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose 17,000 to 327,000 last week from an unrevised level the prior week. Consensus expectations had been for 310,000 claims. Claims may have reflected a rebound from the holiday shortened period the week prior.

The four week moving average of initial claims rose to 312,500 (-9.7% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose 39,000 and the insured rate of unemployment remained at 2.1%.

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 latest beige book from The Federal Reserve Board can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 03/05/05 02/26/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Initial Claims 327 310 -4.1% 343 402 404
Continuing Claims -- 2,703 -11.6% 2,926 3,531 3,570
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