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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Rose Again
by Tom Moeller August 16, 2007

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose again last week. This third increase in as many weeks was to 322,000 from an unrevised 316,000 during the opening week of the month. The increase exceeded Consensus expectations for 315,000 claims in the latest week.

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 to 312,500 (-0.2% y/y), its highest level in one month.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose 17,000 after a downwardly revised 16,000 increase 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%.

Family Caregiver: Balancing Home and Work from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is available here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 08/11/07 08/04/07 Y/Y 2006 2005 2004
Initial Claims  322 316 1.9% 313 331 343
Continuing Claims -- 2,567 3.1% 2,545 3.3% 2,459
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