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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Decline
by Tom Moeller  April 12, 2018

Initial claims for jobless insurance fell to 233,000 (-1.3% y/y) during the week ended April 7 from an unrevised 242,000 in the prior week. Expectations in the Action Economics Forecast Survey had been for 230,000 claims. The four-week moving average rose slightly to 230,000, but remained near the lowest level since March 1973.

In the week ended March 31, continuing claims for unemployment insurance increased 2.9% to 1.871 million (-7.2% y/y) and reversed the prior week's decline. The four-week moving average of claimants slipped to 1.850 million, the lowest level since January 1974.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at the record low of 1.3%.

Insured rates of unemployment varied widely by state. During the week ended March 24, the lowest rates of unemployment were Florida (0.47%), North Carolina (0.48%), Georgia (0.60%), Indiana (0.62%) and Virginia (0.64%). The highest rates were in Montana (2.24%), Rhode Island (2.34%), Connecticut (2.62%), New Jersey (2.72%) and Alaska (3.24%). 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) 04/07/18 03/31/18 03/24/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Initial Claims 233 242 218 -1.3 245 263 278
Continuing Claims -- 1,871 1,818 -7.2 1,961 2,136 2,267
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.3 1.3

(Apr. 2017)

1.4 1.6 1.7
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