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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Fall to July Low
by Tom Moeller  September 18, 2014

Initial claims for jobless insurance fell to 280,000 during the week ended September 13 from 316,000 in the prior week, revised from 315,000. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 305,000 in the latest week. The four-week moving average of initial claims slipped to 299,500.

The latest claims figure covers the survey period for September nonfarm payrolls and claims fell 19,000 (-6.4%) from August. During the last ten years there has been a 75% correlation between the level of claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended September 6 declined to 2.429 million (-13.6% y/y), the lowest level since May 2007. The four-week moving average slipped to 2.482 million. The insured rate of unemployment edged lower to 1.8%.

By state in the week ended August 30, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with Nebraska (0.68%), Indiana (0.86%), Virginia (0.92%), Louisiana (1.11%), Georgia (1.16%) and Kentucky (1.30%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were New York (2.16%), California (2.30%), Massachusetts (2.30%), Pennsylvania (2.54%), Connecticut (2.69%) and New Jersey (3.25%). 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) 09/13/14 09/06/14 08/30/14 Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Initial Claims 280 316 304 -11.9 343 375 409
Continuing Claims -- 2,429 2,492 -13.6 2,977 3,319 3,742
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.8 1.9 2.2
2.3 2.6 3.0
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