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Economy in Brief

U.S. Claims for Jobless Insurance Exceed Expectations
by Tom Moeller August 9, 2007

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose again last week, to 316,000. The 7,000 w/w increase followed a 6,000 rise during the prior week that was revised up slightly. Consensus expectations had been for 310,000 claims in the latest period.

A claims level below 400,000 typically has been associated with growth in nonfarm payrolls. 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 rose slightly to 307,750 (-1.2% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose 39,000 after a revised 21,000 decline during the prior week. The continuing claims numbers lag the initial claims figures by one week.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 1.9%.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 08/04/07 07/28/07 Y/Y 2006 2005 2004
Initial Claims  316 309 -0.9% 313 331 343
Continuing Claims -- 2,52559 3.7% 2,545 3.3% 2,459
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