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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Fall to Summer Low
by Tom Moeller  October 8, 2015

Initial claims for unemployment insurance declined to 263,000 (-11.6% y/y) during the week ended October 3rd from a little-revised 276,000 during the prior week. It was the lowest level since the middle of July. The four week moving average of claims eased to 267,500. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 272,000 initial claims in the latest week. During the last ten years, there has been a 76% correlation between the level of claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

In the week ended September 26, continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose w/w to 2.204 million (-8.1% y/y) but remained nearly the fewest since November 2000. The four-week moving average fell to 2.222 million.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 1.6%, equaling the lowest point since June 2000.

By state, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary with South Dakota (0.26%), Nebraska (0.55%), New Hampshire (0.67%), Virginia (0.73%), Maine (0.82%) and South Carolina (0.83%) at  the low end of the range. At the high end were Massachusetts (1.71%), Pennsylvania  (2.01%), Connecticut (2.02%), California (2.16%), New Jersey (2.31%) and Puerto Rico (3.18%). 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.

Do We Know What We Owe? Consumer Debt as Reported by Borrowers and Lenders from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is available here

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 10/03/15 09/26/15 09/19/15 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Initial Claims 263 276 267 -11.6 309 343 374
Continuing Claims -- 2,204 2,195 -8.1 2,599 2,978 3,319
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) --  1.6 1.6 1.9
2.0 2.3 2.6
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