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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Still Higher
by Tom Moeller November 1, 2007

Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell slightly last week but it was only to 327,000 from an upwardly revised 333,000 during the prior week. There were no distortions to the figure from holidays.

The four week moving average of initial claims rose again to 327,000 (4.1% y/y).

A claims level below 400,000 typically has been associated with growth in nonfarm payrolls. During the last six years there has been a (negative) 78% correlation between the level of initial claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payroll employment.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose a sharp 2.6%. The increase during the prior week was downwardly revised slightly.

The continuing claims numbers lag the initial claims figures by one week.

The insured rate of unemployment rose to 2.0%. from 1.9% the week prior.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 10/27/07 10/20/07 Y/Y 2006 2005 2004
Initial Claims  327 333 -0.6% 313 331 343
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