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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Higher Again
by Tom Moeller March 16, 2006

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose for the third consecutive week. Last week's gain of 5,000 to 309,000 followed a little revised 9,000 increase the prior period and it was to the highest level this year. Consensus expectations had been for 300,000 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 296,500 (-8.0% y/y), its highest level since mid-January.

Continuing unemployment insurance claims fell 49,000 to 2.445M, a five year low, and reversed all of a downwardly revised 17,000 gain the prior week.

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

The Trend Growth Rate of Employment: Past, Present and Future from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 03/11/06 03/04/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 309 304 -6.1% 332 343 402
Continuing Claims -- 2,445 -7.6% 2,663 2,924 3,532
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