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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Decline
by Tom Moeller  February 19, 2015

Initial unemployment insurance claims fell to 283,000 during the week ended February 14 from an unrevised 304,000 during the prior week. The four-week moving average of initial claims declined to 283,250, the lowest level since late-October. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 290,000 claims in the latest week.

The latest claims figure covers the survey period for February nonfarm payrolls. There was a 26,000 decline (-8.4%) from the January period. 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 February 7 increased to 2.425 million from 2.367 million during the prior week, revised from 2.354 million. The four-week moving average declined to 2.398 million.

The insured rate of unemployment held at 1.8% for the sixth straight week.

By state, in the week ended January 31 the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with Florida (0.94%), North Carolina (1.08%), Virginia (1.10%), Nebraska (1.13%), Louisiana (1.14%) and Texas (1.27%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Michigan (2.59%), Maine (2.69%), California (2.81%), Massachusetts (3.28%), Pennsylvania (3.30%) and Connecticut (3.51%). 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) 02/14/15 02/07/15 01/31/15 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Initial Claims 283 304 279 -14.2 309 343 374
Continuing Claims -- 2,425 2,367 -17.4 2,599 2,978 3,319
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.8 1.8 2.2
2.0 2.3 2.6
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