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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Move Lower
by Tom Moeller  December 24, 2014

Initial unemployment insurance claims during the week ended December 20 fell to 280,000 (-17.4% y/y) after declining to an unrevised 289,000 in the prior week. It was the lowest level of claims in seven weeks. The four-week moving average of initial claims edged down 290,250, yet was up from 279,000 at the end of October. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 290,000 claims in the latest week.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended December 13 edged higher to 2.403 million (-17.8% y/y) from 2.378 million. The four-week moving average also notched higher to 2.418 million, the highest level since mid-September.

The insured rate of unemployment held at 1.8% where it has been since early-September.

By state, in the week ended December 6, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with Nebraska (0.90%), Florida (0.90%), North Carolina (1.00%), New Hampshire (1.10%), Indiana (1.10%) and Texas (1.20%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Wisconsin (2.30%), Massachusetts (2.40%), California (2.50%), Connecticut (2.60%), Pennsylvania (2.70%) and New Jersey (3.00%). 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.

Global Aging: More Headwinds for U.S. Stocks? from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 12/20/14 12/13/14 12/06/14 Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Initial Claims 280 289 295 -17.4 343 375 409
Continuing Claims -- 2,403 2,378 -17.8 2,977 3,319 3,742
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.8 1.8 2.2
(12/13)
2.3 2.6 3.0
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