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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Climb to Highest since April
by Carol Stone, CBE  July 5, 2018

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to 231,000 during the week ended June 30, an increase of 3,000 from the 228,000 of the prior week, which was revised up by a marginal 1,000. While obviously still quite low, the June 30 number is the highest since 233,000 in the first two weeks of April. The Action Economics Forecast Survey looked for 225,000 claims. The four-week moving average of initial claims was 224,500, up slightly from 222,250 the week before.

In the week ending June 23, continuing claims for unemployment insurance increased to 1.739 million from 1.707 million, revised from 1.705 million. The four-week moving average of claimants was 1.718 million, down slightly from 1.720 million in the June 16 week and again the lowest since December 8, 1973.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at the record low of 1.2% for an eighth consecutive week and nine of the last ten weeks.

Insured rates of unemployment varied widely by state. During the week ended June 16, the lowest rates were in South Dakota (0.26%), Nebraska (0.44%), Indiana (0.46%), North Carolina (0.47%) and Utah (0.48%). The highest rates were in Pennsylvania (1.77%), California (1.80%), Connecticut (1.83%), New Jersey (1.97%) and Alaska (2.18%). 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) 06/30/18 06/23/18 06/16/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Initial Claims 231 228 218 -8.0 245 262 278
Continuing Claims -- 1,739 1,707 -11.5 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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