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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Decline
by Tom Moeller  April 7, 2016

Initial unemployment insurance claims fell to 267,000 during the week ended April 2 from an unrevised 276,000 in the prior week. For the past year, claims have been near the lowest level since 1973. Expectations were for 270,000 claims in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The four-week moving average of claims increased to 266,750. During the last ten years, there has been a 74% correlation between the level of claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

In the week ending March 26, continuing claims for unemployment insurance increased to 2.191 million from 2.172 million. The four-week moving average eased to 2.189 million, the lowest level since November.

The insured rate of unemployment remained at 1.6%, the low point of the economic recovery.

Insured rates of unemployment across states continued to vary. Near the low end of the range were Florida (0.59%), North Carolina (0.66%), South Dakota (0.69%), South Carolina (0.82%), Virginia (0.89%), Tennessee (0.90%), and Utah (0.91%). At the high end of the scale were Illinois (2.60%), Massachusetts (2.61%), Rhode Island (2.63%), Connecticut (2.72%), Pennsylvania (2.74%) and New Jersey (2.97%). The 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 survey, carried in the AS1REPNA database.

Differing Views on Long-Term Inflation Expectations from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is available here.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 04/02/16 03/26/15 03/19/16 Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Initial Claims 267 276 265 -3.0% 277 307 342
Continuing Claims -- 2,191 2,172 -4.0 2,268 2,607 2,978
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.6 1.6

1.8
(Mar. 2015)

1.7 2.0 2.3
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