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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Up For Third Week
by Tom Moeller May 12, 2005

For the third consecutive week, initial claims for unemployment insurance rose. The 4,000 increase to 340,000 was smaller than the gains during the earlier two weeks (the prior week's gain was revised slightly higher), but the latest level was 4.3% above the April average. Consensus expectations had been for 329,000 claims.

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) 65% correlation with the level of continuing claims.

The four week moving average of initial claims rose to 324,000 (-4.8% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose 15,000 and the prior week's gain was revised down slightly.

The insured unemployment rate held at 2.0% for the third consecutive weeks.

Self-employed immigrants: An analysis of recent data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 05/07/05 04/30/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Initial Claims 340 336 1.2% 343 402 404
Continuing Claims -- 2,598 -12.6% 2,926 3,531 3,570
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