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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims are Little-Changed
by Tom Moeller  November 20, 2014

Initial claims for jobless insurance during the week ended November 15 held fairly steady at 291,000 versus 293,000 during the prior week, revised from 290,000. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 280,000 claims in the latest week. The four-week moving average of initial claims gained to 287,500.

The latest figure covers the survey week for November nonfarm payrolls and claims rose 7,000 (2.5%) from October. During the last ten years, there has been a 76% correlation between the level of claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended November 8 fell to 2.330 million (-19.3% y/y). The four-week moving average slipped to 2.369 million. The insured rate of unemployment held at 1.8% for the tenth straight week, the lowest level since May 2007.

By state, in the week ended October 25, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with North Dakota (0.31%), Indiana (0.86`%), New Hampshire (0.92%), Louisiana (1.02%), Ohio (1.15%) and Texas (1.15%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Oregon (2.02%), Massachusetts (2.09%), Pennsylvania (2.19%), Connecticut (2.37%), California (2.54%) and New Jersey (2.74%). 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) 11/15/14 11/08/14 11/01/14 Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Initial Claims 291 293 278 -12.3 343 375 409
Continuing Claims -- 2,330 2,403 -19.3 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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