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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Down Slightly
by Carol Stone, CBE  June 21, 2018

Initial claims for unemployment insurance were 218,000 during the week ended June 16, down from 221,000 in the prior week, which was revised from 218,000. Expectations in the Action Economics Forecast Survey called for 221,000 claims in the June 16 week. The four-week moving average of initial claims was 221,000, down from 225,000 the week before. During the last ten years, there has been a 73% correlation between the level of initial claims and the month-to-month change in nonfarm payroll employment.

In the week ending June 9, continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose to 1.723 million from 1.701 million, revised from 1.697 million. The four-week moving average of claimants was 1.722 million, down slightly from 1.727 million in the June 2 week and again the lowest since December 8, 1973.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at the record low of 1.2% for a fifth consecutive week.

Insured rates of unemployment varied widely by state. During the week ended June 2, the lowest rates were in South Dakota (0.26%), Nebraska (0.44%), Indiana and North Carolina (0.46%), Florida (0.47%) and Utah (0.49%). The highest rates were in Pennsylvania (1.58%), California (1.83%), Connecticut (1.90%), New Jersey (2.02%) and Alaska (2.46%). 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) 06/16/18 06/09/18 06/02/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Initial Claims 218 221 222 -10.7 245 262 278
Continuing Claims -- 1,723 1,701 -11.5 1,961 2,135 2,266
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.2 1.2

(Jun 2017)

1.4 1.6 1.7
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