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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Nudged Up
by Tom Moeller May 26, 2005

Initial claims for unemployment insurance nudged 1,000 higher last week to 323,000 and the prior week's drop was lessened slightly to 19,000. Consensus expectations had been for 325,000 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 was little changed at 300,500 (-2.7% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance fell 22,000 and the prior week was revised down slightly.

The insured unemployment rate held at 2.0% for the fifth consecutive week.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 05/21/05 05/14/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Initial Claims 323 322 -6.1% 343 402 404
Continuing Claims -- 2,574 -12.7% 2,926 3,531 3,570
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