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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Increase
by Tom Moeller  June 16, 2016

Initial unemployment insurance claims rose to 277,000 (3.1% y/y) during the week ended June 11 versus an unrevised 264,000 claims in the prior week. It was the first w/w increase since the first week of May. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 268,000 claims. The four-week moving average of claims was steady at 269,250. 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 June 4, continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose to 2.157 million (-3.6% y/y) from 2.112 million. Claims remained near the lowest level since 2000. The four-week moving average also was steady at 2.150 million.

The insured rate of unemployment rose to 1.6%, but remained near the record low.

Insured rates of unemployment across states continued to vary. Near the low end of the range were Nebraska (0.52%), Florida (0.61%), Tennessee (0.77%), Georgia (0.79%), South Carolina (0.80%) and Virginia (0.81%). At the high end of the scale were Rhode Island (1.74%), Massachusetts (1.89%), Illinois (1.88%), Pennsylvania (2.26%), New Jersey (2.27%) and Alaska (3.48%). 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.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 06/11/16 06/04/16 05/28/16 Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Initial Claims 277 264 268 3.1% 277 307 342
Continuing Claims -- 2,157 2,112 -3.6 2,268 2,607 2,978
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.6 1.5

(June 2015)

1.7 2.0 2.3
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