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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Nudge Up
by Tom Moeller  April 18, 2013

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to 352,000 (-9.0% y/y) during the week ended April 13 from a revised 348,000 during the prior week, initially reported as 346,000. Consensus expectations were for 345,000 claims. The four week moving average of claims increased to 361,250, its highest level in eight weeks. The latest figure covers the survey week for April nonfarm payrolls and claims rose 11,000 (3.2%) from the March period. During the last ten years, there has been a 75% correlation between the level of claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended April 6 fell to 3.068M (-7.8% y/y). The four week moving average of continuing claims slipped to 3.083M. The insured rate of unemployment held at 2.4% where it's been since February. This particular count covers only "regular" programs and does not include all extended benefit and other specialized jobless insurance programs. In the week of March 30, the latest figure available, the grand total of all benefit recipients fell to a not seasonally adjusted 5.153M, (-23.8% y/y, the lowest level since mid-November. That compares to a cycle peak of 12.060M in January 2010.

By state, the insured unemployment rate continued to vary greatly with Virginia (1.33%), Nebraska (1.36%), Texas (1.49%), Florida (1.51%), South Carolina (1.71%), Indiana (1.96%) and Ohio (2.15%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Michigan (3.05%), New York (3.26%), Illinois (3.32%), California (3.42%), Wisconsin (3.63%), Pennsylvania (3.75%) and New Jersey (3.87%).

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. 

The Fed's latest Beige Book covering regional economic conditions can be found here.

 

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 04/13/13 04/06/13 03/30/13 Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Initial Claims 352 348 388 -9.0 375 409 459
Continuing Claims -- 3,068 3,103 -7.8 3,318 3,744 4,544
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- -- 2.4 2.6
(4/12)
2.6 3.0 3.6
Total "All Programs" (NSA) -- -- 5.153M -23.8 6.047M 7.750M 9.850M
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