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Economy in Brief

Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Highest in Two Months
by Tom Moeller March 9, 2006

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose 8,000 to 303,000 to the highest level since early January while the prior week's level was revised up slightly. Consensus expectations had been for a decline to 290,000 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 increased to 293,500 (-7.4% y/y), its highest level since mid-January.

Continuing unemployment insurance claims rose 29,000 following a revised 11,000 decline the prior week. It was the first increase in four weeks.

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

Understanding the employment measures from the CPS and CES survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 03/04/06 02/25/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 303 295 -9.6% 332 343 402
Continuing Claims -- 2,505 -7.0% 2,663 2,924 3,532
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