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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Rebound
by Tom Moeller  December 12, 2013

Initial claims for unemployment insurance bounced up to 368,000 last week (4.0% y/y) following 300,000 during the week ended November 30, revised from 298,000. The rise outpaced consensus expectations for 320,000 claims and the four week moving average of claims rose to 326,750. During the last ten years there has been a 75% correlation between the level of claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended November 30 ticked up to 2.791 million (-13.1% y/y). The four-week moving average of continuing claims nevertheless fell to 2.794 million. The insured rate of unemployment held at 2.1% for the third straight week. This particular count covers only "regular" programs and does not include all extended benefit and other specialized jobless insurance programs. In the week of November 23, the latest available, the total of all benefit recipients declined to 3.801 million, off by one third 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 in 2007. The number of individuals collecting emergency and extended payments in the week of November 23 fell to 1.249 million (-43.1% y/y).

By state, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with Virginia (1.07), Florida (1.10%), Oklahoma (1.23%), Tennessee (1.27%), Texas (1.37%), Ohio (1.49%) and Vermont (1.65%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Massachusetts (2.35%), Illinois (2.41%), California (2.44%), Pennsylvania (2.75%), Connecticut (2.79%) and New Jersey (3.13%). 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.

Business Investor Activity in the Single-Family-Housing Market from the Federal Reserve Board can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 12/07/13 11/30/13 11/23/13 Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Initial Claims 368 300 321 4.0 375 409 459
Continuing Claims -- 2,791 2,751 -13.1 3,319 3,742 4,531
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 2.1 2.1 2.6
2.6 3.0 3.6
Total "All Programs" (NSA) -- -- 3.801 mil. -32.6 6.049 mil. 7.724 mil. 9.825 mil.
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