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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Decline
by Tom Moeller  December 4, 2014

Initial claims for unemployment insurance during the week ended November 29 dropped to 297,000 after increasing to 314,000 in the prior week, revised from 313,000.  The four-week moving average of initial claims increased to 299,000. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 287,000 claims in the latest week.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended November 22 increased to 2.362 million (-15.8% y/y). The four-week moving average declined to 2.355 million, the lowest level since January 2001. The insured rate of unemployment held at 1.8%.

By state, in the week ended November 15, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with Indiana (0.91%), Georgia (1.04%), Louisiana (1.06%), Ohio (1.14%), Kentucky (1.19%) and Texas (1.21%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Massachusetts (2.19%), Montana (2.26%), Nevada (2.42%), Connecticut (2.44%), California (2.53%) and New Jersey (2.93%). 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.

The Fed's latest Beige Book covering regional economic conditions is available here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 11/29/14 11/22/14 11/15/14 Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Initial Claims 297 314 292 -6.3 343 375 409
Continuing Claims -- 2,362 2,323 -15.8 2,977 3,319 3,742
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.8 1.8 2.2
2.3 2.6 3.0
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