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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Sustain Low Range
by Carol Stone, CBE  June 14, 2018

Initial claims for unemployment insurance eased to 218,000 during the week ended June 9 from an unrevised 222,000 during the prior week. Expectations in the Action Economics Forecast Survey looked for a modest increase to 224,000 claims. The four-week moving average of claims edged down to 224,250. 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 June 2, continuing claims for unemployment insurance fell to 1.697 million from 1.746 million, revised from 1.741 million. The four-week moving average of claimants was 1.726 million, down somewhat from 1.730 million in the May 26 week and the lowest since December 8, 1973.

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

Insured rates of unemployment varied widely by state. During the week ended May 26, the lowest rates were in South Dakota (0.24%), Nebraska (0.39%), Indiana (0.44%), both Florida and North Dakota (0.46%) and North Carolina (0.47%). The highest rates were in Pennsylvania (1.70%), California (1.86%), Connecticut (1.90%), New Jersey (2.02%) and Alaska (2.50%). 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) 06/09/18 06/02/18 05/26/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Initial Claims 218 222 223 -9.2 245 262 278
Continuing Claims -- 1,697 1,746 -12.8 1,961 2,135 2,266
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.2 1.2

(Jun 2017)

1.4 1.6 1.7
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