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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Claims Stay in Tight Range
by Carol Stone  September 4, 2014

Initial claims for jobless insurance during the week ended August 30 rose to 302,000 from 298,000 in the prior week, which was unrevised. The Action Economics Forecast Survey participants expected 300,000 in the latest week. The four-week moving average of initial claims moved up from the prior 299,750 to 302,750.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended August 23 fell to 2.464 million (-15.8% y/y), setting a new recovery low; indeed, this was the lowest since 2.453 million for June 16, 2007. The four-week moving average slipped a bit further to 2.511 million. The insured rate of unemployment held at 1.9% for an eighth consecutive week.

By state in the week ended August 16, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with South Dakota (0.33%), North Dakota (0.42%), Nebraska (0.74%), Utah (0.84%) and Indiana (0.94%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were California (2.68%), Pennsylvania (2.79%), Alaska (3.07%), Connecticut (3.10%) and New Jersey (3.34%). 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) 08/30/14 08/23/14 08/16/14 Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Initial Claims 302 298 299 -7.9 343 375 409
Continuing Claims -- 2,464 2,528 -15.8 2,977 3,319 3,742
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.9 1.9 2.3
(8/13)
2.3 2.6 3.0
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