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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Rise Modestly
by Carol Stone  December 31, 2014

Initial unemployment insurance claims during the week ended December 27 rose to 298,000 (-13.4% y/y) after declining to 281,000 in the prior week, revised marginally from 280,000. The four-week moving average of initial claims thus moved up to 290,750 from 290,500. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected a smaller increase to 289,000 claims in the latest week.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance in the week ended December 20 decreased to 2.353 million (-17.1% y/y) from 2.406 million. The four-week moving average eased to 2.414 million.

The insured rate of unemployment held at 1.8%, where it has been since early September.

By state, in the week ended December 13, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with South Dakota at 0.70%, Nebraska at 0.90% and Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia, Utah and North Dakota, all at 1.00%, at the low end of the range. At the high end were California at 2.80%, Pennsylvania at 2.90%, Puerto Rico and New Jersey at 3.10%, and Alaska at 4.90%. 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) 12/27/14 12/20/14 12/13/14 Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Initial Claims 298 281 289 -13.4 343 375 409
Continuing Claims -- 2,353 2,406 -17.1 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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