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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Rise
by Tom Moeller  June 13, 2019

Initial unemployment insurance claims rose to 222,000 in the week ending June 8 from 219,000 during the prior week, revised from 218,000. Claims remained near their lowest level since December 1969. The latest reading compared to expectations for 217,000 claims in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The four-week moving average of initial claims rose to 217,750 from 215,250 in the previous week. During the last 20 years, there has been a 70% correlation between the level of initial claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance gained to 1.695 million from 1.693 million in the week ending June 1. The four-week moving average of claimants declined 1,000 to 1.673 million, the lowest level since November 1973.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at the record low of 1.2% in the week ending June 1, where it's been for twelve months. The series dates back to 1970.

Insured rates of unemployment vary widely by state. In the week ending May 25, the lowest rates were in South Dakota (0.27%), Nebraska (0.35%), Florida (0.41%), North Carolina (0.44%), Indiana (0.44%) and North Dakota (0.44%). The highest rates were in Massachusetts (1.41%), Pennsylvania (1.60%), Connecticut (1.72%), California (1.86%), New Jersey (1.90%) and Alaska (2.04%). Among the other largest states by population, the rate was 0.95% in Texas, 1.21% in New York and 1.42% in Illinois. These state data are not seasonally adjusted.

Data on weekly unemployment claims going back to 1967 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 in the AS1REPNA database.

Unemployment Insurance (SA, 000s) 06/08/19 06/01/19 05/25/19 Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Initial Claims 222 219 218 1.4 220 244 262
Continuing Claims  -- 1,695 1,693 -1.6 1,756 1,961 2,135
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.2 1.2

(Jun 2018)

1.2 1.4 1.6
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