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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Jump to Four-Month High
by Tom Moeller  January 15, 2015

Initial claims for unemployment insurance continue to track upward. During the week ended January 10, claims jumped to 316,000 (-4.0% y/y) from 297,000 in the week prior, revised from 294,000. The latest was the highest level since the first week of September. The four-week moving average of initial claims edged higher to 298,000, the highest level in four weeks. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 292,000 claims in the latest week.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended January 3rd fell to 2.424 million (-17.7% y/y) from 2.475 million. The four-week moving average rose to 2.415 million.

The insured rate of unemployment fell to 1.8% from an upwardly revised 1.9%.

By state, in the week ended December 27, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with South Dakota (0.85%), North Carolina (1.06%), Oklahoma (1.07%), Virginia (1.10%), Utah (1.15%) and Tennessee (1.21%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were California (2.76%), Wisconsin (3.04%), Pennsylvania (3.11%), Connecticut (3.33%), New Jersey (3.41%) and Alaska (5.04%). 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) 01/10/15 01/03/15 12/27/14 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Initial Claims 316 297 298 -4.0 309 343 374
Continuing Claims - 2,424 2,475 -17.7 2,599 2,978 3,319
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.8 1.9 2.2
2.0 2.3 2.6
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