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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Fall
by Tom Moeller  June 9, 2016

Initial claims for jobless insurance fell to 264,000 (-15.6% y/y) during the week ended June 4 versus 268,000 claims in the prior week, revised from 267,000. Despite the weekly decline, the average of claims in May were 6.7% above April. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 270,000 claims. The four-week moving average of claims fell to 269,500. During the last ten years, there has been a 74% correlation between the level of claims and the m/m change in payroll employment.

In the week ending May 28, continuing claims for unemployment insurance declined to 2.095 million (-8.1% y/y) from 2.172 million. The four-week moving average eased to 2.145 million.

The insured rate of unemployment fell to 1.5%, a record low.

Insured rates of unemployment across states continued to vary. Near the low end of the range were Nebraska (0.50%), Florida (0.60%), Tennessee (0.70%), South Carolina (0.76%), Georgia (0.80%) and Virginia (0.80%). At the high end of the scale were Rhode Island (1.80%), Massachusetts (1.90%), Illinois (1.90%), Pennsylvania (2.20%), New Jersey (2.30%) and Puerto Rico (2.40%). The state 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.

Is There Still Slack in the Labor Market? from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago can be found here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 06/04/16 05/28/16 05/21/16 Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Initial Claims 264 268 268 -15.6% 277 307 342
Continuing Claims -- 2,095 2,172 -8.1 2,268 2,607 2,978
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.5 1.6

(May 2015)

1.7 2.0 2.3
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