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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Surprisingly Move Higher
by Tom Moeller  July 11, 2013

First time claims for unemployment insurance increased to 360,000 (-0.8% y/y) during the week ended July 6 from a little-revised 344,000 during the week prior. Consensus expectations were for 335,000 claims. The four week moving average of claims rose to 351,750, its highest level since late-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 29 backed up slightly to 2.977 million (-10.1% y/y) from 2.953 million. The four week moving average of continuing claims slipped to a cycle-low of  2.971 million. The insured rate of unemployment held at 2.3%, where it's been since early-April. 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 22, the latest figure available, the grand total of all benefit recipients slipped w/w at 4.506 million, (-23.3% y/y). That compares to a cycle peak of 12.060 million in January 2010. The number of individuals who were collecting emergency and extended payments fell to a cycle low of 1.645 million (-36.9% y/y).

By state, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with South Dakota (0.44%), Virginia (1.25%), Oklahoma (1.40%), Indiana (1.53%), Texas (1.59%), Ohio (1.61%), Tennessee (1.67%) and Georgia (1.68%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Michigan (1.88%), Massachusetts (2.30%), New York (2.53%), Illinois (2.61%), Nevada (2.79%), California (3.01%), New Jersey (3.09%) and Pennsylvania (3.15%).

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 minutes to the latest FOMC meeting can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 07/06/13 06/29/13 06/22/13 Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Initial Claims 360 344 348 -0.8 375 409 459
Continuing Claims -- 2,977 2,953 -10.1 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) -- -- 4.506 mil. -23.3 6.047M 7.750M 9.850M
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