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Economy in Brief

U.S. Claims for Unemployment Insurance Rose Slightly
by Tom Moeller August 2, 2007

Initial unemployment insurance claims rose slightly last week. The 4,000 increase to 307,000 was the first uptick in five weeks. It followed an upwardly revised no change w/w during the prior period.

A claims level below 400,000 typically has been associated with growth in nonfarm payrolls. The jobs figure will be released tomorrow.

During the last ten years there has been a (negative) 78% correlation between the level of initial claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payroll employment.

The four-week moving average of initial claims fell to 305,500 (-2.3% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance fell 16,000 after a revised 22,000 decline during the prior week. The continuing claims numbers lag the initial claims figures by one week.

The insured rate of unemployment was stable at 1.9%.

A Brain Drain or an Insufficient Brain Gain? from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York can be found here.

Consensus expectations had been for a rise to 310,000 claims.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 7/28/07 07/21/07 Y/Y 2006 2005 2004
Initial Claims  307 303 -2.5% 313 331 343
Continuing Claims -- 2,525 3.5% 2,545 3.3% 2,459
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