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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Increase
by Tom Moeller  September 28, 2017

Initial unemployment insurance claims rose to 272,000 during the week ended September 23 from 260,000 in the prior week, revised from 259,000. Expectations had been for 268,000 initial claims in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The four-week moving average jumped to 277,750.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance declined to 1.934 million (-6.5% y/y) in the week ended September 16, after rising to 1.979 million the week before. The four-week moving average of claimants eased to 1.950 million.

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

Insured rates of unemployment varied widely across the country. For the week ended September 9, the insured rate of unemployment in Texas spiked to 1.67% from 1.11% in the prior week. The level of initial claims remained high there at 32,259 (96.8% y/y), though that was down sharply versus the prior two weeks. The lowest insured rates of unemployment were in South Dakota (0.22%), Nebraska (0.43%), Indiana (0.48%), Utah (0.50%), North Carolina (0.51%) and Florida (0.54%). The highest rates were found in Massachusetts (1.51%), Connecticut (1.89%), Pennsylvania (1.82%), California (1.90%), Alaska (2.15%) and New Jersey (2.33%). These 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 Forecast Survey, carried in the AS1REPNA database.

Unemployment Insurance (SA, 000s) 09/23/17 09/16/17 09/09/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Initial Claims 272 260 281 8.3 263 278 308
Continuing Claims -- 1,934 1,979 -6.5 2,136 2,267 2,599
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.4 1.4

(Sep 2016)

1.6 1.7 2.0



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