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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Drop
by Tom Moeller April 20, 2006

Initial claims for jobless insurance reversed about all of the prior week's rise with a 10,000 worker decline to 303,000. Consensus expectations had been for an unchanged reading at 313,000 claims versus the prior week's unrevised figure.

The latest figure covers the survey period for April nonfarm payrolls and claims fell 9,000 (-2.9%) from the March 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 slipped to 305,250 (-9.2% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose 18,000 during the latest week following a revised 11,000 decline the prior week.

The insured rate of unemployment was stable at 1.9% where it's been for almost two months.

Are We Working Too Hard of Should We Be Working Harder? A Sample Model of Career Concerns from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond is available here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 04/15/06 04/08/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 303 313 -3.8% 332 343 402
Continuing Claims -- 2,439 -7.6% 2,662 2,924 3,532
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