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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Edge Lower
by Tom Moeller  November 3, 2011

Initial claims for jobless insurance slipped to 397,000 last week from 406,000 (revised from 402,000) during the week prior. The latest figure compared to the 400,000 expected figure in the Action Economics survey. The 4-week moving average of claims slipped to 404,500, nearly its lowest since mid-August.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance fell to 3.683M in the October 22nd week. The insured unemployment rate held at 2.9%. By state, the rate varied as of October 15th with Virginia (1.4%), New Hampshire (1.6%), Minnesota (1.7%), Texas (1.8%), Indiana (1.8%), Tennessee (2.1%) and Florida (2.1%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were rates in Illinois (2.9%), South Carolina (3.0%), Connecticut (3.1%), Nevada (3.2%), California (3.4%), New Jersey (3.4%) and Pennsylvania (3.6%).

The grand total of those receiving unemployment insurance, including extended programs run by the states and the federal government, was 6.782M as of October 15th, down by nearly one-quarter y/y. Regular extended benefits, with eligibility dependent on conditions in individual states, were roughly stable at 540,443 (-47.8% y/y) and those on the special "EUC 2008" programs fell to 2.946M (-26.0% y/y).

The statement following yesterday's FOMC meeting can be found here.

Data on weekly unemployment insurance programs are contained in Haver's WEEKLY database, including the seasonal factor series, and they are summarized monthly in USECON. Data for individual states, including the unemployment rates that determine individual state eligibility for the extended benefits programs and specific "tiers" of the emergency program, are in REGIONW, a database of weekly data for states and various regional divisions. Action Economics estimates are in AS1REPNA.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 10/29/11 10/22/11 10/15/11 Y/Y% 2010 2009 2008
Initial Claims 397 406 404 -2.2 461 577 413
Continuing Claims -- 3,683 3,698 -15.4 4,544 5,807 3,338
 Insured Unemployment Rate(%) -- 2.9 2.9 3.5
(10/10)
3.6 4.4 2.5
Total "All Programs" (NSA) -- -- 6.782M -23.9 9.850M 9.163M 3.903M
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