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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Down Sharply
by Tom Moeller October 20, 2005

Initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped 35,000 to 355,000 last week versus a little revised level of 389,000 during the prior period. Consensus expectations had been for 370,000 claims.

The Labor Department indicated that 40,000 initial claims last week were linked to Hurricanes Katrina & Rita.

The latest figure covers the survey period for October nonfarm payrolls and initial claims fell 80,000 (18.4%) from the September period.

The four-week moving average of initial claims fell to 376,000 (+9.3% y/y) from 396,000 during the prior four weeks.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose 35,000 following a deepened 12,000 worker decline during the prior week.

The insured rate of unemployment rose to 2.3% from 2.2% during the prior three weeks. The low in early September was 2.0%.

The latest Beige Book covering US regional economic conditions from the Federal Reserve Board can be found here.

Remarks by Fed Governor Donald L. Kohn titled The Economic Outlook are available here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 10/15/05 10/08/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Initial Claims 355 389 6.0% 343 402 404
   Hurricane Related Claims (000, NSA) 40 75
Continuing Claims -- 2,370 3.4% 2,926 3,531 3,570
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