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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims For Unemployment Insurance Rose Further
by Tom Moeller March 31, 2005

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose 20,000 to 350,000 last week versus an upwardly revised level the prior week. Consensus expectations had been for 321,000 claims.

During the last ten years there has been a (negative) 74% 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 four week moving average of initial claims rose to 336,000 (-1.2% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance dropped 66,000 from the prior week and the insured rate of unemployment remained at 2.1%.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 03/26/05 03/19/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Initial Claims 350 330 1.4% 343 402 404
Continuing Claims -- 2,608 -11.6% 2,926 3,531 3,570
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