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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Approach April Low
by Tom Moeller  July 7, 2016

Initial claims for unemployment insurance claims declined 16,000 to 254,000 (-12.0% y/y) during the week ended July 2 from 270,000 in the prior week, revised from 268,000. It was the lowest level since mid-April. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 270,000 claims. The four-week moving average of claims fell to 264,750. During the last ten years, there has been a 74% correlation between the level of claims and the m/m change in payroll employment.

In the week ending June 25, continuing claims for unemployment insurance declined to 2.124 million (-4.0% y/y) from 2.168 million. Continuing claims were near the lowest level since 2000. The four-week moving average remained roughly steady at 2.148 million.

The insured rate of unemployment held near the record low at 1.6%.

Insured rates of unemployment across states continued to vary. Near the low end of the range were South Dakota (0.36%), Florida (0.67%), Utah (0.70%), Indiana (0.76%), Virginia (0.82%) and Tennessee (0.88%). At the high end of the scale were Texas (1.67%), Massachusetts (1.80%), Nevada (1.84%), Illinois (1.96%), New Jersey (2.26%) and Pennsylvania (2.37%). 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.

Unemployment Insurance (000s) 07/02/16 06/25/16 06/18/16 Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Initial Claims 254 270 258 -12.0% 277 307 342
Continuing Claims -- 2,124 2,168 -4.0 2,268 2,607 2,978
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.6 1.6

1.7
(June 2015)

1.7 2.0 2.3
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