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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Applications Slip
by Tom Moeller  June 07, 2018

Initial claims for unemployment insurance eased to 222,000 during the week ended June 1 from 223,000 during the prior week, revised from 221,000. Expectations in the Action Economics Forecast Survey were for 220,000 claims. The four-week moving average of claims rose to 225,500, its highest level since late April. During the last ten years, there has been a 73% correlation between the level of initial claims and the month-to-month change in nonfarm payroll employment.

In the week ending May 26, continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose to 1.741 million from a little-revised 1.720 million. The four-week moving average of claimants fell to 1.729 million from 1.752 million, the lowest since December 1973.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at the record low of 1.2% for a fourth consecutive week.

Insured rates of unemployment varied widely by state. During the week ended May 18, the lowest rates were in South Dakota (0.26%), Nebraska (0.37%), North Carolina (0.45%), Florida (0.45%) and Indiana (0.46%). The highest rates were in Pennsylvania (1.59%), Connecticut (1.92%), California ( 1.95%), New Jersey (2.02%) and Alaska (2.61%). These 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 Forecast Survey, carried in the AS1REPNA database.

Unemployment Insurance (SA, 000s) 06/01/18 05/26/18 05/19/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Initial Claims 222 223 234 -9.8 245 262 278
Continuing Claims -- 1,741 1,720 -10.1 1,961 2,135 2,266
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.2 1.2

(Jun 2017)

1.4 1.6 1.7S
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