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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims For Jobless Insurance at Two Month Low
by Tom Moeller December 14, 2006

Initial unemployment insurance claims fell a sharp 20,000 last week to 304,000 following an unrevised 34,000 drop during the prior week. The decline was to the lowest level since mid-October and by far surpassed Consensus expectations for a slight decline to 320,000 claims.

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 eased slightly to 327,750 (+2.6% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance fell 33,000 after a downwardly revised 43,000 increase during the prior week.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 1.9% for the sixth consecutive week and equaled the average rate since February.

Beyond the Outsourcing Angst: Making America More Productive from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas can be found here.

How Labor Market Policies Shape Immigrants’ Opportunities, also from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, is available here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 12/09/06 12/02/06 Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Initial Claims 304 324 -5.3% 332 343 403
 Continuing Claims -- 2,477 -4.5% 2,662 2,924 3,532
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