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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Notch Higher
by Tom Moeller  July 25, 2013

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to 343,000 (-5.5% y/y) during the week ended July 20 from a revised 336,000 during the week prior, initially reported as 334,000. The latest figure compared to an expected 337,000 in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The four week moving average of claims slipped 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 July 13 fell back to 2.997 million (-8.9% y/y) from 3.116 million. The four week moving average of continuing claims rose slightly to 3.023 million. The insured rate of unemployment declined to 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 July 6, the latest figure available, the grand total of all benefit recipients backed up to 4.841 million, (-19.8% 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 reached another cycle low of 1.612 million (-36.9% y/y).

By state, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with Virginia (1.33%), Oklahoma (1.43%), Indiana (1.59%), Texas (1.61%), Ohio (1.72%), Tennessee (1.80%), Maine (1.82%) and Georgia (1.96%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Michigan (2.18%), Washington (2.21%), Illinois (2.86%), New York (2.95%), Pennsylvania (3.25%), Connecticut (3.59%), New Jersey (3.64%) and California (3.80%).

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.

Uncertainty and the Slow Labor Market Recovery from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco can be found here


Unemployment Insurance (000s) 07/20/13 07/13/03 07/06/13 Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Initial Claims 343 336 358 -5.5 375 409 459
Continuing Claims -- 2,997 3,116 -8.9 3,318 3,744 4,544
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 2.3 2.4 2.6
2.6 3.0 3.6
Total "All Programs" (NSA) -- -- 4.841 mil. -19.8 6.047 mil. 7.750 mil. 9.850 mil.
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