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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Rise Slightly from Multi-Decade Low
by Carol Stone, CBE  July 26, 2018

Initial claims for unemployment insurance increased to 217,000 during the week ended July 21, 9,000 higher than the 208,000 of the prior week. That was revised up by 1,000, but it remains the lowest since December 6, 1969. The Action Economics Forecast Survey looked for 215,000 claims in the latest period. The four-week moving average of initial claims was 218,000, compared with 220,750 the week before.

In the week ending July 14, continuing claims for unemployment insurance eased to 1.745 million from 1.753 million the week before; that was revised from 1.751 million. The four-week moving average of claimants was 1.746 million, up from 1.738 million in the July 7 week.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at its record low of 1.2% for the eleventh week in a row and the twelfth of the last 13 weeks.

Insured rates of unemployment varied widely by state. During the week ended July 7, the lowest rates were in South Dakota (0.29%), Indiana (0.48%), North Carolina (0.49%), Nebraska (0.50%), and Florida (0.53%). The highest rates were in Alaska (2.02%), Pennsylvania (2.04%), Rhode Island (2.07%), Connecticut (2.33%), and New Jersey (2.52%). Among some other states, the rate was 1.63% in New York, 1.59% in Illinois and 1.09% in Texas. 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) 07/21/18 07/14/18 07/07/18 Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Initial Claims 217 208 215 -10.3 245 262 278
Continuing Claims -- 1,745 1,753 -11.1 1,961 2,135 2,266
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.2 1.2

(Jul 2017)

1.4 1.6 1.7
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