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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Remain Near Eight-Year Low
by Tom Moeller  October 9, 2014

Initial claims for unemployment insurance were roughly stable during the week ended October 4 at 287,000 (-20.7% y/y). The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected a rebound to 295,000 claims in the latest week. The four-week moving average of initial claims declined to 287,750, its lowest level since early-2006. During the last ten years, there has been a 73% correlation between the level of claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payroll employment.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended September 27 fell to 2.381 million (-18.2% y/y), reaching the lowest level since May 2006. The four-week moving average fell to 2.414 million. The insured rate of unemployment held at 1.8% for the fourth week, also the lowest level also since 2007.

By state, in the week ended September 20, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with North & South Dakota (0.27%), Nebraska (0.65%), Indiana (0.83%), Virginia (0.89%) and Ohio (1.05%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Massachusetts (2.02%), Pennsylvania (2.16%), Nevada (2.31%), Connecticut (2.38%), California (2.45%) and New Jersey (2.71%). 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) 10/04/14 09/27/14 09/20/14 Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Initial Claims 287 288 295 -20.7 343 375 409
Continuing Claims -- 2,381 2,402 -18.2 2,977 3,319 3,742
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.8 1.8 2.2
(9/13)
2.3 2.6 3.0
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