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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Jobless Insurance Claims Remain Near 1973 Low
by Tom Moeller  October 22, 2015

Initial claims for unemployment insurance notched higher during the week ended October 15 to 259,000 from 256,000 during the prior week, revised from 255,000. The figure remained near the November 1973 low. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 265,000 initial claims. The four week moving average eased to 263,250.

The latest figure covers the survey week for October nonfarm payrolls; claims fell 5,000 (1.9%) from the September 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.

In the week ended October 10, continuing claims for unemployment insurance edged up w/w to 2.170 million (-9.1% y/y) and remained near the November 2000 low. The four-week moving average eased to 2.185 million.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 1.6%, equaling the lowest point since June 2000.

By state, the insured rate of unemployment continued to vary with South Dakota (0.25%), Nebraska (0.55%), New Hampshire (0.66%), North Carolina (0.70%), Virginia (0.72%) and Maine (0.78%) at the low end of the range. At the high end were Massachusetts (1.70%), Connecticut (1.97%), Pennsylvania (1.97%), California (2.00%), New Jersey (2.23%) and Alaska (2.43%). 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) 10/17/15 10/10/15 10/03/15 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Initial Claims 259 256 262 -9.1 309 343 374
Continuing Claims -- 2,170 2,164 -9.1 2,599 2,978 3,319
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.6 1.6 1.8
2.0 2.3 2.6
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