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Economy in Brief

Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Fell
by Tom Moeller February 2, 2006

Initial claims for unemployment insurance reversed the prior week's little revised gain and fell 11,000 to 273,000. Consensus expectations had been for an increase to 295,000 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 further to 284,250 (-13.9% y/y), its lowest level since June 2000.

Continuing unemployment insurance claims also reversed the prior week's downwardly revised increase and fell 64,000.

The insured rate of unemployment fell back to the lowest level since early 2001, at 1.9% from 2.0% the prior week.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 01/28/06 01/21/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 273 284 -15.5% 332 343 402
Continuing Claims -- 2,509 -7.2% 2,663 2,924 3,532
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