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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Jobless Insurance Claims Ease
by Tom Moeller  November 19, 2015

Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell slightly to 271,000 (-7.2% y/y) during the week ended November 14 from an unrevised 276,000 in the prior week. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 270,000 initial claims. The four-week moving average increased slightly to 270,750 but remained near the 15-year low.

The latest reading covers the survey period for November nonfarm payrolls. Initial claims rose 12,000 (4.6%) from the October survey week. 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 November 7, continuing claims for unemployment insurance eased w/w to 2.175 million (-7.5% y/y). The four-week moving average held fairly steady at 2.167 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 Carolina (0.65%), Indiana (0.70%), Virginia (0.73%), Florida (0.72%), Tennessee (0.85%) and Kansas (0.88%) at the low end of the range. At the high end remained Massachusetts (1.73%), Connecticut (2.01%), Pennsylvania (2.06%), California (2.12%), New Jersey (2.33%) and Alaska (3.41%). 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) 11/14/15 11/07/15 10/31/15 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Initial Claims 271 276 276 -7.2 307 342 372
Continuing Claims -- 2,175 2,177 -7.5 2,607 2,978 3,308
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.6 1.6

(Nov. 2014)

2.0 2.3 2.6
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