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Economy in Brief

Initial Jobless Insurance Claims Again Raised Hurricane Charley
by Tom Moeller September 2, 2004

Initial claims for unemployment insurance jumped 19,000 to 362,000 last week on the heels of a 10,000 rise the week prior. Roughly half of both week's increases were due to the impact of Hurricane Charley on claims in Florida, according to the Labor Department. The Consensus forecast had beenfor 335,000 claims.

The 4-week moving average of initial claims rose to 343,000 (-14.4% y/y).

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance fell 5,000 following a downwardly revised 5,000 decline the week prior.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 2.3%, where it has hovered since the end of April.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 08/28/04 08/21/04 Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Initial Claims 362 343 -12.6% 399 403 403
Continuing Claims -- 2,882 -19.4% 3,516 3,564 2974
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