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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Decline; Continuing Claims Reach 2007 Low
by Tom Moeller  October 2, 2014

The labor market continues to improve. Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell to 287,000 (-9.7% y/y) in the week ended September 27 from 295,000 during the prior week, revised from 293,000. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 298,000 claims in the latest week. The four-week moving average of initial claims declined to 294,750, its lowest level since early August. During the last ten years, there has been a 73% correlation between the level of claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payroll employment.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended September 20 fell to 2.398 million (-17.8% y/y), reaching the lowest level since May 2007. The four-week moving average fell to 2.441 million. The insured rate of unemployment held at 1.8% for the third week, also the lowest level also since 2007.

By state, in the week ended September 12, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with North Dakota (0.29%), Nebraska (0.77%), Indiana (0.84%), Virginia (0.90%), Vermont (1.09%) and Texas (1.25%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Massachusetts (2.04%), Pennsylvania (2.24%), Nevada (2.31%), Connecticut (2.41%), California (2.55%) and New Jersey (2.81%). 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) 09/27/14 09/20/14 09/13/14 Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Initial Claims 287 295 281 -9.7 343 375 409
Continuing Claims -- 2,398 2,443 -17.8 2,977 3,319 3,742
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.8 1.8 2.2
2.3 2.6 3.0
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