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Economy in Brief

Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Fell
by Tom Moeller December 22, 2005

Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell 13,000 to 318,000 last week following an upwardly revised 3,000 increase the prior week. Consensus expectations had been for 325,000 claims.

The latest figure covers the survey period for December nonfarm payrolls and claims were up 13,000 (4.3%) from the November period. During the last ten year there has been a (negative) 75% correlation between the level of initial jobless insurance claims and the m/m change in payroll employment.

The four-week moving average of initial claims fell to 324,500 (-3.5% y/y).

Continuing unemployment insurance claims rose 41,000 following a lessened 12,000 gain the prior week.

The insured rate of unemployment ticked up to 2.1% following two weeks at 2.0%.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 12/17/05 12/10/05 Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Initial Claims 318 331 -3.3% 343 402 404
Continuing Claims -- 2,638 -3.0% 2,926 3,531 3,570
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