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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Increase
by Tom Moeller  March 24, 2016

Initial unemployment insurance claims rose to 265,000 during the week ended March 19 from 259,000 in the prior week. Expectations were for 267,000 claims in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The four week moving average of claims was little changed at 259,750

In the week ending March 12, continuing claims for unemployment insurance declined to 2.179 million (-8.3% y/y) from 2.218 million. The four-week moving average fell to 2.207 million.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 1.6%, the low point of the economic recovery.

Insured rates of unemployment across states continued to vary. Near the low end of the range were Florida (0.61%), North Carolina (0.72%), Georgia (0.85%), Virginia (0.96%), Arizona (1.03%) and Tennessee (1.00%). At the high end of the scale were Illinois (2.75%), Massachusetts (2.78%), Connecticut (2.95%), Pennsylvania (2.99%), New Jersey (3.19%) and Alaska (4.38s%). The state data are not seasonally adjusted and cover the week ended January 16.

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) 03/19/16 03/12/16 03/05/16 Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Initial Claims 265 259 253 -7.0% 277 307 342
Continuing Claims -- 2,179 2,218 -8.3 2,268 2,607 2,978
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.6 1.6

(Mar. 2015)

1.7 2.0 2.3
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