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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Near Recovery Low
by Tom Moeller  June 18, 2015

The labor market remains on solid ground. Initial unemployment insurance claims declined to 267,000 (-14.3% y/y) during the week of June 13 compared to an unrevised 279,000 during the prior week. The four week moving average fell to 276,750. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 276,000 claims in the latest week. During the last ten years, there has been a 76% correlation between the level of initial claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance eased to 2.222 million (-14.0% y/y) in the latest week from 2.272 million. The four-week moving average of 2.231 million was near the lowest level since November 2000.

The insured rate of unemployment held at 1.7%, just above the cycle low.

By state, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with South Dakota (0.37%), Florida (0.80%), Virginia (0.82%), Georgia (0.98%), Ohio (1.16%) and Louisiana (1.34%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Maryland (1.59%), Massachusetts (1.94%), Nevada (2.19%), Pennsylvania (2.22%), California (2.37%) and New Jersey (2.47%). 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.

Confident about Quitting: Job Leavers and Labor Market Optimism from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 06/13/15 06/06/15 05/30/15 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Initial Claims 267 279 277 -14.3 309 343 374
Continuing Claims -- 2,222 2,272 -14.0 2,599 2,978 3,319
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.7 1.7 2.0
2.0 2.3 2.6
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