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Economy in Brief

Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Up Again
by Tom Moeller February 16, 2006

Initial claims for jobless insurance rose 19,000 last week to 297,000, the highest level since early January. The prior week's increase was little revised so initial claims have been below 300,000 during six of the last seven weeks. Consensus expectations had been for an increase to 285,000 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 rose to 283,000 (-9.3% y/y).

Continuing unemployment insurance claims reversed most of the prior week's revised increase and fell 39,000.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 2.0% for the second week.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 02/11/06 02/04/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 297 278 -3.6% 332 343 402
Continuing Claims -- 2,511 -7.2% 2,663 2,924 3,532
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