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Economy in Brief

Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Ticked Higher
by Tom Moeller March 2, 2006

Initial unemployment insurance claims last week reversed most of the prior week's revised decline and rose 15,000 to 294,000. Consensus expectations had been for 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 287,250 (-6.5% y/y).

Continuing unemployment insurance claims fell 2,000 following the prior week's revised 16,000 decline which compared to a rise estimated initially.

The insured rate of unemployment was stable at 1.9% for the third week.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 02/25/06 02/18/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 294 279 -7.0% 332 343 402
Continuing Claims -- 2,486 -6.8% 2,663 2,924 3,532
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