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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Up Again
by Tom Moeller August 10, 2006

Initial unemployment insurance claims increased 7,000 to 319,000 last week versus consensus expectations of 315,000 but the prior week was revised from 315,000 to 312,000. July claims averaged 314,000 while June averaged 308,000.

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, a less volatile measure, dropped to 308,750 (-1.91% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose 48,000 following a 33,000 decline the previous week which was revised from an 11,000 increase reported initially.

The insured rate of unemployment is unchanged at 1.9% where it has been since February.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 8/5/06 7/29/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 319 312 1.92% 332 343 403
 Continuing Claims -- 2,480 -3.91% 2,662 2,924 3,532
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