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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Have Moderate Increase
by Carol Stone, CBE  June 28, 2018

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to 227,000 during the week ended June 23, an increase of 9,000 from the 218,000 of the prior week; that earlier figure was unrevised. The Action Economics Forecast Survey looked for 220,000 claims. The four-week moving average of initial claims was 222,000, barely different from the 221,000 of the week before. During the last ten years, there has been a 75% correlation between the level of initial claims and the month-to-month change in nonfarm payroll employment.

In the week ending June 16, continuing claims for unemployment insurance fell to 1.705 million from 1.726 million, revised from 1.723 million. The four-week moving average of claimants was 1.720 million, down slightly from 1.723 million in the June 9 week and again the lowest since December 8, 1973.

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

Insured rates of unemployment varied widely by state. During the week ended June 9, the lowest rates were in South Dakota (0.26%), Nebraska (0.45%), Indiana and North Carolina (0.46%), Florida (0.48%) and Utah (0.49%). The highest rates were in Pennsylvania (1.69%), California (1.85%), Connecticut (1.87%), New Jersey (1.98%) and Alaska (2.33%). 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) 06/23/18 06/16/18 06/09/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Initial Claims 227 218 221 -6.6 245 262 278
Continuing Claims -- 1,705 1,726 -12.6 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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