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Economy in Brief

Initial Claims For Unemployment Insurance Down
by Tom Moeller July 22, 2004

Initial claims for jobless insurance fell an expected 11,000 last week to 339,000. The latest figure covers the July survey period for non-farm payrolls and claims were about even with the June period.

During the last ten years there has been a (negative) 75% correlation between the level of initial jobless claims and the m/m change in non-farm payrolls.

The 4-week moving average of initial claims fell to 336,750 (-18.8% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance cratered 167,000 following a downwardly revised 105,000 gain the prior week.

The insured rate of unemployment fell to 2.2%, the lowest level since May 2001.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 7/17/04 7/10/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Initial Claims    339 350 -14.0% 403 404 406
Continuing Claims    -- 2,797 -21.4% 3,533 3,573 3,023
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