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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Remained High
by Tom Moeller December 13, 2007

Last week, initial claims for jobless insurance fell a modest 7,000 to 333,000 but the prior week's level was revised up slightly.

The four week moving average of initial claims, a measure which smoothes out most of the series' w/w volatility, dipped to 338,750 (4.0% y/y), near the highest level since 2005.

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 38,000 after an unrevised 59,000 decline during the prior week.

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

The insured rate of unemployment held at 2.0% for the third consecutive week.

Fixing the New Keynesian Phillips Curve also from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is available here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 12/08/07 12/01/07 Y/Y 2006 2005 2004
Initial Claims  333 340 6.7% 313 331 343
Continuing Claims -- 2,639 7.0% 2,459 2,662 2,924
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