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Economy in Brief

Unemployment Insurance Claims Fell Sharply
by Tom Moeller September 29, 2005

Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell a sharp 79,000 to 356,000 last week following a 11,000 rise the prior week which was little revised. Consensus expectations had been that claims would remain in a range of 350,000 to 500,000, wide due to uncertainty caused by Hurricanes.

The Labor Department indicated that, seasonally unadjusted, initial claims linked to Hurricane Katrina totaled 60,000, down from 108,000 the prior week. No claims were yet linked to Hurricane Rita.

The four-week moving average of initial claims rose to 385.500 (13.0% y/y) from 377,000 during the prior four weeks.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance surged 144,000 following a slightly revised 80,000 increase during the prior week.

The insured rate of unemployment rose to 2.2% from 2.1% the week prior.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 09/24/05 09/17/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Initial Claims 356 435 0.0% 343 402 404
Continuing Claims -- 2,802 -1.7% 2,926 3,531 3,570
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