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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Remain Near 1973 Low
by Tom Moeller  October 29, 2015

Initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 1,000 during the week ended October 24 to 260,000. The prior week's level was unrevised. The figure remained near the November 1973 low. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 263,000 initial claims. The four week moving average declined to 259,250. During the last ten years, there has been a 75% correlation between the level of initial claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

In the week ended October 17, continuing claims for unemployment insurance fell w/w to 2.144 million (-10.7% y/y) and remained near the November 2000 low. The four-week moving average eased to 2.185 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 (0.24%), Nebraska (0.51%), New Hampshire (0.65%), North Carolina (0.68%), Virginia (0.71%) and Maine (0.74%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Massachusetts (1.64%), California (1.96%), Connecticut (1.97%), Pennsylvania (2.04%), New Jersey (2.27%) and Alaska (2.73%). 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) 10/24/15 10/17/15 10/10/15 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Initial Claims 260 259 256 -9.6 307 342 372
Continuing Claims -- 2,144 2,181 -10.7 2,607 2,978 3,308
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.6 1.6 1.8
2.0 2.3 2.6
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