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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Retreat
by Tom Moeller  July 18, 2013

First time unemployment insurance claims fell to 334,000 (-12.6% y/y) during the week ended July 13 from a revised 358,000 during the week prior, initially reported as 360,000. The decline outpaced expectations for a drop to 340,000. The four week moving average of claims fell to 346,000. The latest claims figure covers the survey week for July nonfarm payrolls and claims fell 21,000 (5.9%) from the June period.  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 July 6 increased to 3.114 million (-6.1% y/y) from an upwardly revised 3.023 million. The four week moving average of continuing claims rose to 3.019 million. The insured rate of unemployment ticked up to 2.4% after two months at 2.3%. 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 29, the latest figure available, the grand total of all benefit recipients was unchanged w/w at 4.520 million, (-21.5% 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 1.637 million (-35.2% y/y).

By state, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with Virginia (1.23%), Oklahoma (1.41%), Indiana (1.50%), Texas (1.59%), Ohio (1.59%), Georgia (1.66%), Tennessee (1.67%) and Maine (1.68%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Michigan (1.91%), North Carolina (2.22%), Massachusetts (2.27%), Illinois (2.54%), New York (2.69%), California (3.16%), Pennsylvania (3.16%) and New Jersey (3.20%).

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) 07/13/03 07/06/13 06/29/13 Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Initial Claims 334 358 344 -12.6 375 409 459
Continuing Claims -- 3,114 3,023 -6.1 3,318 3,744 4,544
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 2.4 2.3 2.6
2.6 3.0 3.6
Total "All Programs" (NSA) -- -- 4.520M -23.3 6.047M 7.750M 9.850M
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