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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Rebound
by Tom Moeller  August 14, 2014

Job market improvement stuttered last week. Initial claims for jobless insurance during the week ended August 9 increased to 311,000, the highest level in six weeks. Claims during the prior week totaled 290,000, revised from 289,000. The latest figure compared to expectations for 298,000 claims in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The four-week moving average of initial claims edged higher to 295,750. During the last ten years there has been a 76% correlation between the level of claims and the m/m change in payroll employment.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended August 2 rose to 2.544 million (-14.1% y/y) and the four-week moving average ticked up to 2.528 million. The insured rate of unemployment held at 1.9% for the fifth consecutive week.

By state in the July 26th week, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with South Dakota (0.36%), Nebraska (0.83%), Indiana (0.97%), Virginia (1.01%), Florida (1.31%) and Texas (1.41%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Illinois (2.35%), Massachusetts (2.48%), Rhode Island (2.57%), California (2.75%), Connecticut (3.07%) and New Jersey (3.39%). These data are not seasonally adjusted.

Data on weekly unemployment insurance 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 survey, carried in the AS1REPNA database.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 08/09/14 08/02/14 07/26/14 Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Initial Claims 311 290 303 -5.5 343 375 409
Continuing Claims -- 2,544 2,519 -14.1 2,977 3,319 3,742
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.9 1.9 2.3
2.3 2.6 3.0
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