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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Decline
by Tom Moeller  June 15, 2017

Initial unemployment insurance filings during the week ended June 10 fell to 237,000 (-12.3% y/y) from an unrevised 245,000 during the prior week. Expectations called for 240,000 claims in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The four-week moving average increased slightly to 243,000. During the last ten years, there has been a 72% correlation between the level of initial claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose to 1.935 million (-10.0% y/y) in the week ended June 3, the highest level in six weeks, from 1.929 million in the prior week. The four-week moving average of claimants increased to 1.927 million.

The insured unemployment rate remained at the record low of 1.4%.

Insured rates of unemployment across states continue to vary widely. For the week ended May 27, the lowest rates were in South Dakota (0.31%), Nebraska (0.46%), North Carolina (0.53%), Florida (0.55%), Utah (0.58%) and New Hampshire (0.60%). The highest rates were found in Alaska (2.89%), New Jersey (2.16%), Connecticut (2.03%), California (1.87%), Massachusetts (1.74%) and Illinois (1.73%). These state data are not seasonally adjusted.

The unemployment insurance claims data begin January 2, 1971. 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 Forecast Survey, carried in the AS1REPNA database.

Unemployment Insurance (SA, 000s) 06/10/17 06/03/17 05/27/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Initial Claims 237 245 255 -12.3 263 278 308
Continuing Claims -- 1,935 1,929 -10.0 2,136 2,267 2,599
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.4 1.4

(June 2016)

1.6 1.7 2.0
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