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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Jobless Insurance Claims Move Higher
by Tom Moeller  June 20, 2013

Initial unemployment insurance claims rose to 354,000 (-8.3% y/y) during the week ended June 15 from a revised 336,000 during the week prior, initially reported as 334,000. Consensus expectations were for 340,000 claims. The four week moving average of claims nudged up to 348,250. The latest claims figure covers the survey period for June nonfarm payrolls. There was a 10,000 increase (2.9%) from May. 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 8 fell to 2.951 million (-11.1% y/y) from a revised 2.991 million. The four week moving average of continuing claims ticked up to 2.979 million. The insured rate of unemployment held at 2.3% where it's been for nine 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 June 1, the latest figure available, the grand total of all benefit recipients rose w/w to 4.534 million, (-22.1% 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 a cycle low of 1.684 million (-33.5% y/y).

By state, the insured unemployment rate continued to vary greatly with South Dakota (0.48%), Virginia (1.24%), Oklahoma (1.39%), Texas (1.56%),  Indiana (1.57%), Ohio (1.60%), Tennessee (1.67%) and Georgia (1.67%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Michigan (1.94%), New York (2.50%), Massachusetts (2.50%), Illinois (2.58%), Nevada (2.80%), California (2.89%), Pennsylvania (2.98%) and New Jersey (3.10%).

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.

Estimating the Trend in Employment Growth from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is available here.


Unemployment Insurance (000s) 06/15/13 06/08/13 06/01/13 Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Initial Claims 354 336 346 -8.3 375 409 459
Continuing Claims -- 2,951 2,991 -11.1 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) -- -- 4.534 -22.5 6.047M 7.750M 9.850M
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