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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Inch Higher
by Tom Moeller  August 4, 2016

Initial unemployment insurance claims increased to 269,000 (-1.8% y/y) during the week ended July 30 from an unrevised 266,000 in the prior week. Claims remained near the lowest level since 1973. The four-week moving average rose to 260,250. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 263,000 claims in the latest week. During the last ten years, there has been a 75% correlation between the level of claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

Continuing claims for jobless benefits eased to 2.138 million (-5.4% y/y) from 2.144 million. The four-week moving average was little changed at 2.142 million, also near a four-decade low.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 1.6%.

Insured rates of unemployment continued to vary across states. Near the low end of the range were North Carolina (0.68%), Florida (0.73%), Utah (0.69%), Indiana (0.76%), Virginia (0.83%) and Georgia (0.84%). At the high end of the scale were Texas (1.68%), Nevada (1.88%), Massachusetts (1.99%), Illinois (2.02%), Pennsylvania (2.59%) and New Jersey (2.73%). 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) 07/30/16 07/23/16 07/16/16 Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Initial Claims 269 266 252 -1.8% 277 307 342
Continuing Claims -- 2,138 2,144 -5.4 2,268 2,607 2,978
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.6 1.6

(July 2015)

1.7 2.0 2.3
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