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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Remain Unchanged Near Record Low
by Tom Moeller  July 14, 2016

Initial unemployment insurance claims held steady at 254,000 (-8.6% y/y) during the week ended July 9. It was the lowest level since mid-April and near a record low. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 265,000 claims. The four-week moving average of claims fell to 259,000. 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 July 2, continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose to 2.149 million (-3.8% y/y) from 2.117 million. Continuing claims were near the lowest level since 2000. The four-week moving average eased to 2.143 million.

The insured rate of unemployment notched higher to 1.6%.

Insured rates of unemployment continued to vary across states. Near the low end of the range were South Dakota (0.36%), Nebraska (0.53%) Florida (0.69%), Indiana (0.75%), Virginia (0.78%) and Tennessee (0.83%). At the high end of the scale were Texas (1.67%), Nevada (1.85%), Massachusetts (1.94%), Illinois (1.94%), New Jersey (2.42%) and Pennsylvania (2.44%). 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) 07/09/16 07/02/16 06/25/16 Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Initial Claims 254 254 270 -8.6% 277 307 342
Continuing Claims -- 2,149 2,117 -3.8 2,268 2,607 2,978
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.6 1.5

(July 2015)

1.7 2.0 2.3
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