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Economy in Brief

Unemployment Insurance Claims Again High Due to Hurricane
by Tom Moeller September 22, 2005

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose another 8,000 w/w to 432,000 last week following an upwardly revised 97,000 surge the prior week. Consensus expectations had been for 450,000 claims.

The Labor Department indicated that 103,000 jobless claims last week and 91,000 the week prior were related to Hurricane Katrina which struck the Gulf Coast on August 29th. Last week, a 49,665 rise in claims in Louisiana was mostly Hurricane related and a 5,177 rise in Mississippi was all Hurricane related. Unadjusted, initial claims fell slightly w/w in California, New Jersey and in Pennsylvania.

The four-week moving average of initial claims rose to 376,250 (10.4% y/y) from 347,250 during the prior four weeks.

The latest claims figure covers the survey period for September nonfarm payrolls and claims were up 113,000 (35.4%) from the August period.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance jumped 88,000 during the latest week following a lessened 8,000 rise the week prior.

The insured rate of unemployment rose to 2.1% following nine weeks at 2.0%.

Unemployment and Vacancy Fluctuations in the Matching Model: Inspecting the Mechanism from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond is available here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 09/17/05 09/10/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Initial Claims 432 424 23.4% 343 402 404
Continuing Claims -- 2,666 -7.1% 2,926 3,531 3,570
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