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Economy in Brief

Initial Jobless Insurance Claims At Four Month Low
by Tom Moeller October 19, 2006

Last week, initial claims for jobless insurance fell 10,000 to 299,000 after a little revised increase the week earlier. It was the third decline in the last four weeks and dropped claims to the lowest level since early June. Consensus expectations had been for 310,000 claims.

The latest figure covers the survey period for October nonfarm payrolls and and claims were down 23,000 (-7.1%) from the September period.

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 307,750 (-15.1% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose 25,000 after a revised 12,000 decline the prior week that initially was reported as a 5,000 w/w increase.

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

Health Insurance Costs and Declining Coverage from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 10/14/06 10/07/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 299 308 -12.8% 332 343 403
 Continuing Claims -- 2,453 -13.0% 2,662 2,924 3,532
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