Recent Updates

  • Jamaica: CPI (Jul)
  • Israel: CPI (Jul), PPI (Jul), Average Housing Prices (Q2)
  • Japan: NCI Economic Activity Index (Aug)
  • US: NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (Aug)
  • Canada: Wholesale trade, MSIO (June)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Decline
by Tom Moeller  February 8, 2018

Initial claims foe jobless insurance fell to 221,000 (-6.8% y/y) during the week ended February 3 from an unrevised 230,000 claims in the prior week. Expectations had been for 234,000 claims in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The four-week moving average declined to 224,500, the lowest level since early-1973. During the last ten years, there has been a 74% correlation between the level of initial claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

In the week ended January 27, continuing claims for unemployment insurance declined to 1.923 million (-7.0% y/y) from 1.956 million. The four-week moving average of claimants rose to 1.946 million.

The insured rate of unemployment held steady at 1.4%.

Insured rates of unemployment varied widely by state. During the week ended January 20, the lowest rates were in Florida (0.55%), North Carolina (0.56%), Georgia (0.78%), Tennessee (0.80%), Indiana (0.81%) and  Arizona (0.83%). At the high end were Alaska (4.27%), New Jersey (3.01%), Connecticut (3.01%) Montana (2.88%), Rhode Island (2.85%) and Pennsylvania (2.83%). 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.

Factors Affecting the Labor Force Participation Amongst People Ages 25 to 54 from the Congressional Budget Office can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (SA, 000s) 02/03/18 01/27/18 01/20/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Initial Claims 221 230 231 -6.8 245 263 278
Continuing Claims -- 1,923 1,956 -7.0 1,962 2,136 2,267
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.4 1.4

(Jan. 2017)

1.4 1.6 1.7
large image