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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Dip
by Tom Moeller August 31, 2006

Last week, initial claims for unemployment insurance fell 2,000 to 316,000 after an upwardly revised 4,000 increase during the prior week. Consensus expectations had been for 315,000 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 increased to 317,500 (0.1% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose 3,000 following a deepened 18,000 decline during the prior week.

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

U.S. maneuvers through choppy waters from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is available here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 8/26/06 8/19/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 316 318 -1.2% 332 343 403
 Continuing Claims -- 2,486 -4.6% 2,662 2,924 3,532
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