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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Fall Back
by Tom Moeller  June 6, 2013

Initial unemployment insurance claims fell to 346,000 (-7.5% y/y) during the week ended June 1 from a revised 357,000, initially reported as 354,000. Consensus expectations were for 345,000 claims. The four week moving average of claims rose to 352,500, the highest level since mid-April. During the last ten years, there has been a 74% correlation between the level of claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended May 25 slipped to 2.952 million (-11.2% y/y) from a revised 3.004 million. The four week moving average of continuing claims rose to another cycle-low of 2.976 million. The insured rate of unemployment held at 2.3% where it's been for seven weeks. This particular count covers only "regular" programs and does not include all extended benefit and other specialized jobless insurance programs. In the week of May 18, the latest figure available, the grand total of all benefit recipients ticked up w/w to 4.647 million, (-22.2% y/y. That compares to a cycle peak of 12.060 million in January 2010. The number of individuals who are collecting emergency and extended payments rose slightly to a low 1.761 million (-31.6% y/y).

By state, the insured unemployment rate continued to vary greatly with North Dakota (0.64%), Louisiana (1.20%), Virginia (1.24%), Florida (1.49%), Texas (1.54%), Tennessee (1.56%), Ohio (1.60%) and Georgia (1.62%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Michigan (2.03%), New York (2.48%), Massachusetts (2.53%), Illinois (2.57%), Nevada (2.79%), Pennsylvania (2.96%), New Jersey (3.12%) and California (3.25%).

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) 06/01/13 05/25/13 05/18/13 Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Initial Claims 346 357 344 -8.5 375 409 459
Continuing Claims -- 2,952 3,004 -11.2 3,318 3,744 4,544
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 2.3 2.3 2.6
2.6 3.0 3.6
Total "All Programs" (NSA) -- -- 4.647M -22.2 6.047M 7.750M 9.850M
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