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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Fall Again
by Tom Moeller  November 14, 2013

Initial claims for jobless insurance fell to 339,000 (-24.8% y/y) during the week ended November 9 from the previous week's 341,000, revised up from 336,000. Expectations had been for 330,000 claims. The four-week moving average of initial claims declined to 344,000. During the last ten years there has been a 74% correlation between the level of claims and the m/m change in payroll employment.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended November 2 were unchanged at 2.874 million (-13.5% y/y). The four-week moving average of continuing claims slipped to 2.866 million. The insured rate of unemployment remained at 2.2%, where it's been since late-August. This particular count covers only "regular" programs and does not include all extended benefit and other specialized jobless insurance programs. In the week of October 26, the latest available, the total of all benefit recipients slipped to 3.908 million (-21.8% y/y). This broader measure is not seasonally adjusted. It compares to a cycle peak of 12.060 million in January 2010 and pre-recession figures that averaged 2.596 million for 2007. The number of individuals collecting emergency and extended payments in the week of October 26 declined to 1.334 million (-36.4% y/y).

By state, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with North Dakota (0.36%), Nebraska (0.85%), New Hampshire (1.04%), Virginia (1.11%), Florida (1.14%), Vermont (1.38%) and Texas (1.41%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Illinois (2.36%), the District of Columbia (2.41%), Pennsylvania (2.63%), Connecticut (2.74%), California (2.88%), New Jersey (2.99%), and Alaska (4.28%). These data are not seasonally adjusted.

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.

On the Design of Monetary and Macroprudential Policies from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is available here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 11/09/13 11/02/13 10/26/13 Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Initial Claims 339 341 346 -24.8 375 409 459
Continuing Claims -- 2,874 2,874 -13.5 3,318 3,744 4,544
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 2.2 2.2 2.5
2.6 3.0 3.6
Total "All Programs" (NSA) -- -- 3.908 mil. -21.8 6.047 mil. 7.750 mil. 9.850 mil.
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