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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Fall Again As Sandy's Impact Eases
by Tom Moeller  December 6, 2012

Initial jobless insurance claims fell again last week after filings were raised sharply in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Claims fell during the week ended December 1 to 370,000 from 395,000 in the prior period, initially reported as 393,000. Consensus expectations were for 382,000 claims.The four week moving average rose to 408,000, its highest in just over one year.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended November 24 fell to 3.205M (-10.9% y/y). The insured rate of unemployment ticked up w/w to 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 November 17, the latest figure available, the grand total of all benefit recipients fell w/w to 4.959M. The latest figure was down 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%), Florida (1.35%), Texas (1.48%), Indiana (1.57%), Tennessee (1.61%), Ohio (1.67%) and Michigan (2.38%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Massachusetts (2.58%), Illinois (2.65%), California (2.68%), Nevada (2.87%), New York (2.84%), Connecticut (3.10%) and New Jersey (3.92%).

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


Unemployment Insurance (000s) 12/01/12 11/24/12 11/17/12 Y/Y% 2011 2010 2009
Initial Claims 370 395 416 -3.4 409 459 574
Continuing Claims -- 3,205 3,305 -10.9 3,745 4,544 5,807
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 2.5 2.6 2.9
3.0 3.6 4.4
Total "All Programs" (NSA) -- -- 4.959M -24.6 7.750M 9.850M 9.163M
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