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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Filings Slip
by Tom Moeller  August 29, 2013

Initial unemployment insurance claims edged down to 331,000 (-11.7% y/y) during the week of August 24 from 337,000 in the week prior, initially reported as 336,000. The latest figure nearly matched an expected 332,000 in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The four-week moving average of initial claims ticked higher to 331,250 but remained near the low of the economic recovery.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended August 17 slipped to 2.989 million (-9.9% y/y) from 3.003 million. The four-week moving average of continuing claims notched up to 2.996 million. The insured rate of unemployment held 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 August 10, the latest figure available, the total of all benefit recipients rose slightly to 4.468 million (-19.2% y/y). This broader measure is not seasonally adjusted. It compares to a cycle peak of 12.060 million in January 2010. The number of individuals who were collecting emergency and extended payments backed up to 1.512 million (-33.5% y/y).

By state, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with Nebraska (1.02%), Virginia (1.24%), Indiana (1.49%), Ohio (1.53%), Tennessee (1.54%), Georgia (1.60%), Texas (1.62%) and Florida (1.65%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Michigan (1.97%), Massachusetts (2.45%), New York (2.70%), Illinois (2.71%), Pennsylvania (3.19%), California (3.29%) and New Jersey (3.57%).

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) 08/24/13 08/17/13 08/10/13 Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Initial Claims 331 337 322 -11.7 375 409 459
Continuing Claims -- 2,989 3,003 -9.9 3,318 3,744 4,544
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 2.3 2.3 2.6
(8/12)
2.6 3.0 3.6
Total "All Programs" (NSA) -- -- 4.468 mil. -19.2 6.047 mil. 7.750 mil. 9.850 mil.
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