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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Below Expectations
by Tom Moeller April 6, 2006

Initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped for the third consecutive period last week. The 5,000 person decline to 299,000 compared to Consensus expectations for 305,000 claims. It followed a 8,000 fall the prior week which was slightly less than initially estimated.

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 fell to 308,500 (-9.9% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance fell a sharp 22,000 during the latest week following a revised decline of 1,000 the prior period, initially reported as an increase.

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

The highest insured unemployment rates during the week ending March 18 were in Alaska (5.1%), Michigan (4.5%), Wisconsin (3.5%), Puerto Rico (3.4%), Pennsylvania (3.3%), Rhode Island (3.3%), New Jersey (3.1%), Vermont (3.1%), Massachusetts (3.0%), Connecticut (2.8%), and Oregon (2.8%).

Look Who's Working Now from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is available here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 04/01/06 03/25/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 299 304 -13.6% 332 343 402
Continuing Claims -- 2,440 -9.0% 2,663 2,924 3,532
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