U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Edge Lower in Latest Week
- Decline compares to upwardly revised level in the prior week.
- Continuing claims continue to strengthen.
- Insured unemployment rate holds steady.
Initial claims for unemployment insurance edged down to 217,000 (3.4% y/y) in the week of November 4 from 220,000 in the prior week, revised from 217,000. The latest figure compares to a recent low of 200,000 in the second week of October. The four-week moving average edged up to 212,250 versus 210,750 in the prior week. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 217,000 initial claims in the latest week.
Insured unemployment, also known as “continued weeks claimed” or “continuing claims,” rose to 1.834 million (26.9% y/y) in the October 28 week versus 1.812 million in the prior week. The four-week moving average rose to 1.789 million from 1.757 million in the prior week. This figure has been rising for the last year indicating a slow rate of rehiring.
The insured unemployment rate (the number of recipients in the latest available week as a percent of covered employment) was 1.2% in the week of October 28 for the fifth consecutive week. This latest rate is higher than the record low of 0.9% from July through September of last year. These data extend back to 1971.
The insured unemployment rates in regular programs vary widely across states and territories. In the week ended October 21, the highest rates were in Hawaii (2.04%), New Jersey (2.04%), California (2.03%), Puerto Rico (1.87%) and New York (1.56%). The lowest rates were in South Dakota (0.18%), North Dakota (0.28%), Kansas (0.33%), Virginia (0.33%), Florida (0.37%) and Kentucky (0.38%). Other large states include Ohio (0.71%), Texas (0.99%), Pennsylvania (1.38%), Illinois (1.33%) and Massachusetts (1.54%). These state data are not seasonally adjusted.
Data on weekly unemployment claims go back to 1967 and are contained in Haver’s WEEKLY database; they are summarized monthly in USECON. Data for individual states are in REGIONW back to December 1986. The expectations figure is from the Action Economics Forecast Survey, in the AS1REPNA database.
Tom MoellerAuthorMore in Author Profile »
Prior to joining Haver Analytics in 2000, Mr. Moeller worked as the Economist at Chancellor Capital Management from 1985 to 1999. There, he developed comprehensive economic forecasts and interpreted economic data for equity and fixed income portfolio managers. Also at Chancellor, Mr. Moeller worked as an equity analyst and was responsible for researching and rating companies in the economically sensitive automobile and housing industries for investment in Chancellor’s equity portfolio. Prior to joining Chancellor, Mr. Moeller was an Economist at Citibank from 1979 to 1984. He also analyzed pricing behavior in the metals industry for the Council on Wage and Price Stability in Washington, D.C. In 1999, Mr. Moeller received the award for most accurate forecast from the Forecasters' Club of New York. From 1990 to 1992 he was President of the New York Association for Business Economists. Mr. Moeller earned an M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University, where he graduated in 1987. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from George Washington University.