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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Notch Higher
by Tom Moeller  August 13, 2015

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to 274,000 during the week ended August 8 following 269,000 claims during the week prior, earlier reported as 270,000. The four-week moving average fell to 266,250, a new low for the economic expansion. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 270,000 initial claims in the latest week. During the last ten years, there has been a 76% correlation between the level of initial claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 1.7%, near the lowest point since June 2000.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance ticked up to 2.273 million (-10.4% y/y) from 2.258 million. The four-week moving average rose to 2.254 million and has been moving sideways for two months.

By state, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with South Dakota (0.37%), Indiana (0.75%), Virginia (0.84%), Florida (0.94%), Georgia (0.99%) and Tennessee (1.08%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Massachusetts (2.15%), Nevada (2.24%), California (2.34%), Pennsylvania (2.51%), Connecticut (2.66%) and New Jersey (2.98%). 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) 08/08/15 08/01/15 07/25/15 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Initial Claims 274 269 267 -11.0 309 343 374
Continuing Claims -- 2,273 2,258 -10.4 2,599 2,978 3,319
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.7 1.7 1.9
2.0 2.3 2.6
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