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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Rise Slightly; Insured Rate Falls
by Tom Moeller  January 10, 2013

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to 371,000 (-4.9% y/y) during the week ended January 5 from 367,000 during the week prior, revised from 372,000. Consensus expectations were for 365,000 claims. The four week moving average of claims rose slightly to 365,750. During the last ten years there has been a 75% correlation between the level of claims and the m/m chance in nonfarm payrolls.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended December 29 declined to 3.109M (-13.8% y/y). The insured rate of unemployment fell to 2.4%, the lowest level since July 2008. This particular count covers only "regular" programs and does not include all extended benefit and other specialized jobless insurance programs. In the week of December 22, the latest figure available, the grand total of all benefit recipients fell to 5.356M, down 27.0% from a year ago, and compares to a cycle peak of 12.060M in January 2010.

By state, the insured unemployment rate continued to vary greatly with Virginia (1.28%), Texas (1.53), Florida (1.65%), Tennessee (1.77%), Indiana (1.90%) and Ohio (2.26%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were New York (2.99%), Michigan (3.0%), Massachusetts (3.24%), Illinois (3.30%), California (3.31%), New Jersey (3.60%) and Pennsylvania (3.72%).

Data on weekly unemployment insurance are contained in Haver's WEEKLY database and they are summarized monthly in USECON. Data for individual states are in REGIONW. The consensus estimates come from the Action Economics survey, carried in the AS1REPNA database.

Falling Off the Fiscal Cliff from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas can be found here.


Unemployment Insurance (000s) 01/05/12 12/29/12 12/22/12 Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Initial Claims 371 367 363 -4.9 375 409 459
Continuing Claims -- 3,109 3,236 -13.8 3,318 3,744 4,544
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 2.4 2.5 2.9
2.6 3.0 3.6
Total "All Programs" (NSA) -- -- 5.356M -27.0 -- 7.750M 9.850M
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