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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Remain Little Changed
by Tom Moeller  August 11, 2016

Initial claims for unemployment insurance eased to 266,000 during the week ended August 6 following 267,000 claims in the week prior, revised from 269,000. Claims remained near the lowest level since 1973. The four-week moving average rose to 262,750, its highest level since early last month. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 265,000 claims in the latest week. During the last ten years, there has been a 75% correlation between the level of claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

Continuing claims for jobless benefits increased to 2.155 million (-5.0% y/y) from 2.141 million. The four-week moving average was little changed at 2.143 million, also near a four-decade low.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 1.6%.

Insured rates of unemployment continued to vary across states. Near the low end of the range were South Dakota (0.36%), North Carolina (0.68%), Florida (0.72%), New Hampshire (0.79%), Virginia (0.81%) and Maine (0.88%). At the high end of the scale were Texas (1.66%), New Mexico (1.78%), Massachusetts (2.02%), Pennsylvania (2.44%), Alaska (2.66%) and New Jersey (2.74%). 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) 08/06/16 07/30/16 07/23/16 Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Initial Claims 266 267 266 -2.6% 277 307 342
Continuing Claims -- 2,155 2,141 -5.0 2,268 2,607 2,978
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.6 1.6

(July 2015)

1.7 2.0 2.3
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