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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Fall Further
by Tom Moeller  October 12, 2017

Initial unemployment insurance applications fell to 243,000 during the week ended October 7 following a decline to 258,000 in the prior week, revised from 260,000. It was the lowest level of claims since late August. Expectations had been for 250,000 initial claims in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The four-week moving average declined to 257,500, its lowest point in over a month.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance fell to 1.889 million (-8.2% y/y) in the week ended September 30, after rising to 1.921 million the week before. The four-week moving average of claimants eased to 1.925 million, the lowest level since late May.

The insured unemployment rate fell to a record low of 1.3%.

Insured rates of unemployment varied widely across the country. For the week ended September 23, the insured rate of unemployment in Texas increased to 1.42%, but remained below the 1.67% high two weeks ago. The lowest insured rates of unemployment were in South Dakota (0.22%), Nebraska (0.43%), Indiana (0.45%), North Carolina (0.48%), Utah (0.50%) and Florida (0.58%). The highest rates were found in Massachusetts (1.56%), Pennsylvania (1.65%), Connecticut (1.83%), California (1.86%), New Jersey (2.05%) and Alaska (2.25%). These state data are not seasonally adjusted.

Rethinking Monetary Policy in a New Normal from Fed Governor Lael Brainard can be found here.

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) 10/07/07 09/30/17 09/23/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Initial Claims 243 258 269 -4.4 263 278 308
Continuing Claims -- 1,889 1,921 -8.2 2,136 2,267 2,599
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.3 1.4

(Sep 2016)

1.6 1.7 2.0
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