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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Back Down
by Tom Moeller February 23, 2006

Initial unemployment insurance claims for dropped 20,000 to 278,000 last week. The decline reversed all of the prior week's increase which was slightly revised. Consensus expectations had been for 298,000 claims.

The latest figure covers the survey period for February nonfarm payrolls and claims were up 6,000 (2.2%) from the January period.

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 281,750 (-8.8% y/y).

Continuing unemployment insurance claims rose 41,000 and reversed nearly half of the prior week's revised 98,000 decline which was much deeper than initially estimated.

The insured rate of unemployment was stable at 1.9% for the third of the last four weeks.

A new study titled Globalization and Offshoring of Software by the Association for Computing Machinery can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 02/18/06 02/11/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 278 298 -10.0% 332 343 402
Continuing Claims -- 2,495 -5.4% 2,663 2,924 3,532
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