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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Ease
by Tom Moeller  December 11, 2014

Initial claims for unemployment insurance during the week ended December 6 slipped to 294,000 (-17.9% y/y) after falling to an unrevised 297,000 in the prior week. It was the lowest level of claims in three weeks. The four-week moving average of initial claims was fairly steady w/w at 299,250, though that was up from 279,000 at the end of October. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 295,000 claims in the latest week.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended November 29 increased to 2.514 million (-11.4% y/y). The four-week moving average rose to 2.386 million, the highest level since early-October.

The insured rate of unemployment increased to 1.9% after more than two months at 1.8%.

By state, in the week ended November 22, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with Nebraska (0.81%), Florida (0.92%), Tennessee (0.98%), Louisiana (1.05%), Texas (1.11%) and Ohio (1.26%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were California (2.07%), Massachusetts (2.21%), Connecticut (2.42%), Nevada (2.45%), New Jersey (2.79%) and Alaska (4.00%). 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) 12/06/14 11/29/14 11/22/14 Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Initial Claims 294 297 314 -17.9 343 375 409
Continuing Claims -- 2,514 2,372 -11.4 2,977 3,319 3,742
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.9 1.8 2.2
2.3 2.6 3.0
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