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Economy in Brief

Initial Jobless Insurance Claims Fell Further
by Tom Moeller July 27, 2006

A 7,000 worker decline last week in initial claims for unemployment insurance to 298,000 followed a little revised 129,000 slide during the prior period and pulled claims to the lowest level in six weeks. Consensus expectations had been for 310,000 claims.

During the last ten years there has been a (negative) 78% correlation between the level of initial claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payroll employment.

The four-week moving average of initial claims fell to 312,750 (-2.7% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance fell 23,000 after a little revised 78,000 jump the prior week.

The insured rate of unemployment held steady at 1.9% where it has been since February.

The latest Beige Book from the Federal Reserve Board can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 07/22/06 07/15/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 298 305 -4.8% 332 343 403
 Continuing Claims -- 2,475 -5.2% 2,663 2,923 3,530
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