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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Jumped
by Tom Moeller June 2, 2005

Initial claims for unemployment insurance jumped 25,000 last week to 350,000, the highest level since late March. The prior week's level was revised up slightly and Consensus expectations had been for 325,000 claims.

The rise in claims was at least partially due to temporary auto industry layoffs not related to regular summer plant shutdowns for retooling.

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 334,500 (-2.6% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance reversed all of the prior week's decline and rose 32,000 to the highest level in six weeks.

The insured unemployment rate remained stable at 2.0% for the sixth consecutive week.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 05/28/05 05/21/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Initial Claims 350 325 1.4% 343 402 404
Continuing Claims -- 2,602 -12.8% 2,926 3,531 3,570
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