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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Claims Are Little-Changed
by Tom Moeller  August 28, 2014

Initial claims for jobless insurance during the week ended August 23 slipped to 298,000 from 299,000 in the prior week, revised from 298,000. The latest figure compared to expectations for 300,000 claims in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The four-week moving average of initial claims ticked lower to 299,750.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended August 16 nudged up to 2.527 million (-15.2% y/y), but remained near the recovery low. The four-week moving average slipped to 2.525 million. The insured rate of unemployment held at 1.9% for the seventh consecutive week.

By state in the week ended August 9, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with Utah (0.88%), Wyoming (0.95%), Indiana (0.95%), Virginia (1.03%), Florida (1.30%) and Texas (1.36%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Illinois (2.26%), Massachusetts (2.48%), Rhode Island (2.57%), California (2.64%), Connecticut (3.09%) and New Jersey (3.32%). 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 expectations figure is from the Action Economics survey, carried in the AS1REPNA database.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 08/23/14 08/16/14 08/09/14 Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Initial Claims 298 299 312 -11.3 343 375 409
Continuing Claims -- 2,527 2,502 -15.2 2,977 3,319 3,742
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- -- 1.9 2.3
2.3 2.6 3.0
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