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Economy in Brief

Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Lowest Since July
by Tom Moeller January 11, 2007

Initial unemployment insurance claims last week reversed all of the increases over the prior three weeks and fell 26,000 to 299,000, the lowest level since July. Consensus expectations had been for a roughly unchanged figure at 325,000.

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 fell to 314,750 (3.3% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance also fell 3,000 and the prior week's sharp decline was deepened to 91,000.

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

Will Moderating Growth Reduce Inflation? from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 01/06/07 12/30/06 Y/Y 2006 2005 2004
Initial Claims 299 325 0.3% 313 332 343
 Continuing Claims -- 2,428 -8.0% 2,459 2,662 2,924
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