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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Lowest Since 2000
by Tom Moeller January 12, 2006

Initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 17,000 to 309,000 last week following a little revised 34,000 decline the week prior. Consensus expectations had been for 315,000 claims.

During the last ten years 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 sharply to 311,500 (-7.7% y/y).

Continuing unemployment insurance claims reversed most of the prior week's decline with a 12,000 increase.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 2.1% for the fourth week.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 01/07/06 12/31/05 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 309 292 -12.0% 332 343 402
Continuing Claims -- 2,702 1.4% 2,665 2,926 3,531
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