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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Hit Lowest Since 1969
by Carol Stone, CBE  July 19, 2018

Initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped to 207,000 during the week ended July 14, down 8,000 from the 215,000 of the prior week; that was revised up by 1,000. The latest week marked the smallest number of initial claims since December 6, 1969, when there were 202,000. The Action Economics Forecast Survey looked for 220,000 claims in the latest period. The four-week moving average of initial claims was 220,500, compared with 223,250 the week before.

In the week ending July 7, continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose to 1.751 million from 1.743 million the week before; that was revised from 1.739 million. The four-week moving average of claimants was 1.736 million, up from 1.730 million in the June 30 week.

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

Insured rates of unemployment varied widely by state. During the week ended June 30, the lowest rates were in South Dakota (0.25%), Indiana and Nebraska (0.46%), North Carolina (0.48%), Utah (0.49%) and Florida (0.52%). The highest rates were in Rhode Island (1.87%), Pennsylvania (1.95%), Alaska (1.99%), Connecticut (2.11%), and New Jersey (2.21%). 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) 07/14/18 07/07/18 06/30/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Initial Claims 207 215 232 -13.4 245 262 278
Continuing Claims -- 1,751 1,743 -11.2 1,961 2,135 2,266
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.2 1.2

(Jul 2017)

1.4 1.6 1.7
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