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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Inched Up
by Tom Moeller February 8, 2007

Initial unemployment insurance claims inched up 3,000 last week to 311,000 after a little revised 19,000 decline the week prior. The figure about matched Consensus expectations for 310,000 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 rose slightly to 308,250 (8.3% y/y).

A 54,000 (-2.3% y/y) drop in continuing claims for unemployment insurance reversed most of a downwardly revised 62,000 jump the week prior.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 1.9%, about where it's been since February.

In the latest week, initial claims rose sharply in California (16.5% y/y) but fell in most other states. In New York claims fell (2.7%) y/y but in Illinois claims rose 13.7% y/y, in Michigan they fell 10.8% y/y and in Massachusetts claims rose 4.2% y/y. These weekly figures are available in Haver's REGIONW database.

The Role of Labor Market Intermittency in Explaining Gender Wage Differentials from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is available here.

The Economics of Immigration from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 02/03/07 01/27/07 Y/Y 2006 2005 2004
Initial Claims 311 308 6.5% 313 332 343
 Continuing Claims -- 2,490 -2.3% 2,459 2,662 2,924
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