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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Ticked Up
by Tom Moeller July 7, 2005

Initial claims for unemployment insurance ticked up 7,000 to 319,000 last week after a 4,000 drop the week earlier that was slightly shallower than the decline initially indicated. Consensus expectations had been for an increase to 318,000 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 fell to 320,500 (-5.7% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance dropped 16,000 following a revised 1,000 up tick during the prior week.

The insured unemployment rate remained at 2.0%, the low for this cycle.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 07/02/05 06/25/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Initial Claims 319 312 -1.2% 343 402 404
Continuing Claims -- 2,581 -10.7% 2,926 3,531 3,570
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