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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims For Unemployment Insurance Return To Sideways Trend
by Tom Moeller  October 25, 2012

There's been volatility in the recent readings for initial jobless insurance claims. The sharp decline in last week's figure to 369,000 from 392,000, revised from 388,000, left the four week moving average at a slightly reduced 368,000. Consensus expectations were for 372,000 claims for last week. For the month so far, claims fell to 368,000 from 376,000 in September.  

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance slipped to 3.254M (-11.5% y/y) during the week of October 13. The insured rate of unemployment held at 2.5%. This particular count covers only "regular" programs and does not include all extended benefit and other specialized jobless insurance programs. In the week of October 6, the latest figure available, the grand total of all benefit recipients fell to another recovery low of 4.917M. The latest was down by one-quarter y/y and was off by more than one-half since the peak in January 2010.

By state, the insured unemployment rate continued to vary greatly with Virginia (1.18%), Indiana (1.47%), Texas (1.50%), Ohio (1.54%), Tennessee (1.66%), Louisiana (1.70%), Florida (1.87%) and Michigan (2.07%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Massachusetts (2.41%), Illinois (2.50%), New York (2.59%), Nevada (2.68%), Connecticut (2.84%), California (2.97%), Pennsylvania (3.02%) and New Jersey (3.05%).

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 Fed's statement following this week's FOMC meeting can be found here.

 

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 10/20/12 10/13/12 10/06/12 Y/Y% 2011 2010 2009
Initial Claims 369 392 342 -7.1 409 459 574
Continuing Claims -- 3,254 3,256 -11.5 3,745 4,544 5,807
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 2.5 2.5 2.9
(10/11)
3.0 3.6 4.4
Total "All Programs" (NSA) -- -- 4.917M -26.4 7.750M 9.850M 9.163M
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