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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Decline
by Tom Moeller  October 5, 2017

Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell to 260,000 (+3.1% y/y) during the week ended September 30 from an unrevised 272,000 in the prior week. Expectations had been for 265,000 initial claims in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The four-week moving average declined to 268,250.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose to 1.938 million (-6.1% y/y) in the week ended September 23, after falling to 1.936 million the week before. The four-week moving average of claimants fell to 1.947 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 16, the insured rate of unemployment in Texas declined to 1.36% and reversed half of the prior week's increase. The lowest insured rates of unemployment were in South Dakota (0.23%), Nebraska (0.43%), Indiana (0.46%), North Carolina (0.49%), Utah (0.50%) and Florida (0.58%). The highest rates were found in Massachusetts (1.55%), Pennsylvania (1.68%), Connecticut (1.84%), California (1.88%), New Jersey (2.07%) and Alaska (2.08%). 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) 09/30/17 09/23/17 09/16/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Initial Claims 260 272 260 3.1 263 278 308
Continuing Claims -- 1,938 1,936 -6.1 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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