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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Remain Near Expansion Low
by Tom Moeller  August 6, 2015

Initial claims for unemployment insurance edged up to 270,000 (-9.2% y/y) during the week ended August 1 from an unrevised 267,000 during the prior week. Claims have been hovering near this 40-year low for three months. The four-week moving average fell to 268,250. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 272,000 initial claims. 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 2.255 million (-10.8% y/y). The four-week moving average eased to 2.239 million and has been moving sideways for two months.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 1.7%, but remained near the lowest point since June 2000.

By state, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary greatly with Indiana (0.76%), Virginia (0.84%), South Carolina (0.92%), Florida (0.94%), Georgia (1.01%) and Tennessee (1.14%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Massachusetts (2.13%), Nevada (2.28%), Alaska (2.37%), California (2.40%), Pennsylvania (2.70%) and New Jersey (3.03%). 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.

U.S. Economy Regains Footing, Set for Solid Year Ahead from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 08/01/15 07/25/15 07/18/15 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Initial Claims 270 267 255 -9.2 309 343 374
Continuing Claims -- 2,255 2,269 -10.8 2,599 2,978 3,319
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.7 1.7 1.9
2.0 2.3 2.6
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