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Economy in Brief

Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Bounced Up
by Tom Moeller November 22, 2006

Initial claims for jobless insurance increased 12,000 to 321,000 last week from a slightly revised level during the prior period. Consensus expectations had been for a little changed reading of 310,000 claims.

This latest figure covers the survey period for November nonfarm payrolls and claims rose 21,000 (7.0%) from a depressed level during the October period.

During the last ten years there has been a (negative) 77% 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 317,000 (0.1% y/y), its highest level in nearly three months.

There were no special factors sighted for the latest week's increase in claims. For the prior week, the report indicated that the largest increases in initial claims were in Mississippi (+547), California (+414), Massachusetts (+258), Idaho (+243), and North Carolina (+55), while the largest decreases were in Kentucky (-5,561), Illinois (-3,829), Pennsylvania (-3,645), Georgia (-2,977), and Florida (-2,291).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose 14,000 after a 3,000 worker decline the prior week that slightly weaker than reported initially.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 1.9%, the average rate since February.

Who's Worrying About Inflation? from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 11/18/06 11/11/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 321 309 -0.3% 332 343 403
 Continuing Claims -- 2,454 -10.2% 2,662 2,924 3,532
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