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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Continue Lower
by Tom Moeller  June 13, 2013

The job market remains firm. Initial unemployment insurance claims fell to 334,000 (-12.6% y/y) during the week ended June 8 from an unrevised 346,000 during the week prior. Consensus expectations were for 345,000 claims. The four week moving average of claims fell back to 345,250. 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 June 1 edged up to 2.973 million (-10.2% y/y) from a revised 2.971 million. The four week moving average of continuing claims fell to another cycle-low of 2.967 million. The insured rate of unemployment held at 2.3% where it's been for eight 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 25, the latest figure available, the grand total of all benefit recipients fell w/w to a new low of 4.515 million, (-22.5% 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 fell to another low of 1.703 million (-33.2% y/y).

By state, the insured unemployment rate continued to vary greatly with North Dakota (0.65%), Virginia (1.20%), Louisiana (1.24%), Texas (1.51%), Florida (1.55%), Tennessee (1.59%), Ohio (1.60%) and Georgia (1.61%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Michigan (1.97%), New York (2.47%), Massachusetts (2.49%), Illinois (2.54%), Nevada (2.77%), Pennsylvania (2.86%), California (2.90%) and New Jersey (3.05%).

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.  


Unemployment Insurance (000s) 06/08/13 06/01/13 05/25/13 Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Initial Claims 334 346 357 -12.6 375 409 459
Continuing Claims -- 2,973 2,971 -10.2 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) -- -- 4.515 -22.5 6.047M 7.750M 9.850M
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