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Economy in Brief

Initial Jobless Insurance Claims Drop
by Tom Moeller March 23, 2006

Last week, initial claims for unemployment insurance reversed all of the upwardly revised increase the prior period. The 11,000 person decline to 302,000 compared with Consensus expectations for 305,000 claims.

The latest figure covers the survey period for March nonfarm payrolls and claims rose 24,000 (8.6%) from the February 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 303,500 (-7.3% y/y), its highest level since early January.

Continuing unemployment insurance claims reversed most of the prior week's sharp drop, which was revised deeper, and rose 38,000 to 2.472M.

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

Using Cyclical Regimes of Output Growth to Predict Jobless Recoveries from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is available here.

Also from the St. Louis Fed is Entrepreneurship and the Policy Environment and the article can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 03/18/06 03/11/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 302 313 -8.5% 332 343 402
Continuing Claims -- 2,472 -7.6% 2,663 2,924 3,532
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