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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Ticked Up
by Tom Moeller February 9, 2006

Initial claims for jobless insurance ticked 4,000 higher last week to 277,000 following an unrevised 11,000 worker decline the prior week. Initial claims have been below 300,000 during five of the last six weeks. Consensus expectations had been for an increase to 280,000 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 276,500 (-12.6% y/y), the lowest level since April 2000.

Continuing unemployment insurance claims reversed most of the prior week's revised decline and rose 60,000.

The insured rate of unemployment rose back to 2.0% following the prior week's decline to 1.9%.

The January 2006 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices from the Federal Reserve Board is available here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 02/04/06 01/28/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 277 273 -6.4% 332 343 402
Continuing Claims -- 2,557 -5.7% 2,663 2,924 3,532
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