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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Rose
by Tom Moeller August 3, 2006

Initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 14,000 to 315,000 last week following a revised 4,000 drop the prior week. Consensus expectations had been for 310,000 claims and during all of July claims averaged 314,000, up a bit from 308,000 during June.

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 rose to slightly 313,750 (-1.8% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose 11,000 after a little revised 29,000 decline the prior week.

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

Implementation of Optimal Monetary Policy from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond is available here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 07/29/06 07/22/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 315 301 -0.9% 332 343 403
 Continuing Claims -- 2,480 -4.5% 2,663 2,923 3,530
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