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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Fall To Recovery Low
by Tom Moeller  July 12, 2012

The labor market advanced into new territory last week. Initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped to 350,000 in the week ended July 7 from 376,000 during the prior week, revised from 374,000. That put the latest level at its lowest since March 2008. Consensus expectations were for 375,000 new claims. The four-week moving average of claims fell to 376,500, its lowest since late May.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance also fell w/w to 3.304M during the week of June 30. The insured rate of unemployment held steady at 2.6% where it's been since March. This particular count covers only "regular" programs and does not include all extended benefit and other specialized jobless insurance programs. In the week of June 23, the latest figure available, the grand total of all benefit recipients ticked up to 5.874M, down -21.5% y/y and down 50% from the peak in January 2010.

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 consensus survey estimates are in AS1REPNA.

The minutes to the latest FOMC meeting can be found here

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 07/07/12 06/30/12 06/23/12 Y/Y% 2011 2010 2009
Initial Claims 350 376 388 -14.6 409 459 574
Continuing Claims -- 3,304 3,318 -11.6 3,745 4,544 5,807
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 2.6 2.6 3.0
(7/11)
3.0 3.6 4.4
Total "All Programs" (NSA) -- -- 5.874M -21.5 7.750M 9.850M 9.163M
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