Recent Updates

  • US: Public Debt (Mar), GDP by Industry (Q4)
  • Kenya: Foreign Trade (Feb)
  • Armenia: Export and Import Prices, Wages, Foreign Trade, Retail Trade (Feb)
  • Lithuania: Government Finance (2019), Unemployment (Mar)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Sustain Low Range
by Carol Stone, CBE  February 20, 2020

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose 4,000 to 210,000 (-1.4% y/y) during the week ended February 15 from 206,000 in the prior week, revised from 205,000. The February 15 result equaled the Action Economics Forecast Survey at 210,000. The four-week moving average of initial claims was 209,000, down from 212,250 the week before and the lowest since mid-April 2019.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended February 8 rose 25,000 to 1.726 million (+0.4% y/y) from 1.701 million, which was revised from 1.698 million. The four-week moving average of claimants eased to 1.722 million, its lowest since mid-December.

The insured rate of unemployment held steady at 1.2%, where it has been since mid-November.

Insured unemployment rates vary widely by state. During the week ending February 1, the lowest rates were in Florida (0.39%), North Carolina (0.50%), Nebraska and Virginia (0.59%), and Georgia and New Hampshire (0.62%). The highest rates were in West Virginia (2.48%), Connecticut (2.52%), Montana (2.53%), New Jersey (2.74%) and Alaska (2.98%). Among the other largest states by population, the rate was 1.05% in Texas, 1.74% in New York, 2.08% in California and 2.21% in Illinois. These state data are not seasonally adjusted.

Data on weekly unemployment claims dating 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 from the Action Economics Forecast Survey, carried in the AS1REPNA database.

Unemployment Insurance (SA, 000s) 02/15/20 02/08/20 02/01/20 Y/Y % 2019 2018 2017
Initial Claims 210 206 203 -1.4 218 220 244
Continuing Claims -- 1,726 1,701 0.4 1,701 1,756 1,961
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.2 1.2

1.2
(Feb. 2019)

1.2 1.2 1.4
close
large image