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Economy in Brief

Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Rose
by Tom Moeller January 4, 2007

Initial unemployment insurance claims popped 10,000 last week to 329,000 for the third consecutive weekly gain. The increase outpaced Consensus expectations for stability at 318,000.

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 also rose to 317,500 (2.3% y/y) though that was down from the early December high of 328,750.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance dropped a sharp 76,000.

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

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 12/30/06 12/23/06 Y/Y 2006 2005 2004
Initial Claims 329 319 11.5% 313 332 343
 Continuing Claims -- 2,446 -8.3% - 2,662 2,924
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