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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Rise
by Tom Moeller  April 28, 2016

Initial claims for unemployment insurance increased to 257,000 during the week ended April 23 after falling to 248,000 in the prior week, revised from 247,000. Expectations were for 255,000 applications in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The four-week moving average of claims declined to 256,000, its lowest level of the economic recovery.

In the week ending April 16, continuing claims for unemployment insurance eased to 2.130 million (-5.5% y/y) from 2.135 million. The four-week moving average fell to 2.158 million, a new low for the economic expansion.

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 South Dakota (0.48%), Florida (0.60%), North Carolina (0.64%), South Carolina (0.76%), Tennessee (0.81 %) and Virginia (0.83%). At the high end of the scale were Illinois (2.34%), Massachusetts (2.36%), Connecticut (2.48%), Pennsylvania (2.62%), New Jersey (2.68%) and Alaska (4.00%). The state 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) 04/23/16 04/16/16 04/09/16 Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Initial Claims 257 248 253 -2.2% 277 307 342
Continuing Claims -- 2,130 2,135 -5.5% 2,268 2,607 2,978
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.6 1.6

(Apr. 2015)

1.7 2.0 2.3
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