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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Remain Unchanged
by Tom Moeller  November 12, 2015

Initial claims for unemployment insurance held steady during the week ended November 7 at 276,000 (-6.1% y/y). The prior week's level was unrevised and the highest since the last week of September. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 270,000 initial claims. The four week moving average increased slightly to 267,750 but remained near the 15-year low. During the last ten years, there has been a 75% correlation between the level of initial claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

In the week ended October 31, continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose w/w to 2.174 million (-10.3% y/y). The four-week moving average inched higher to 2.165 million, but also remained near the 15-year low.

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 North Dakota (0.57%), North Carolina (0.65%), Virginia (0.72%), Florida (0.73%), Tennessee (0.80%) and Vermont (1.03%) at the low end of the range. At the high end remained Massachusetts (1.74%), Connecticut (2.00%), Pennsylvania (2.03%), California (2.09%), New Jersey (2.34%) and Alaska (3.14%). 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) 11/07/15 10/31/15 10/24/15 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Initial Claims 276 276 260 -6.1 307 342 372
Continuing Claims -- 2,174 2,169 -10.3 2,607 2,978 3,308
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.6 1.6 1.8
2.0 2.3 2.6
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