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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Dip
by Tom Moeller  July 21, 2016

Initial claims for unemployment insurance of 253,000 (-3.8% y/y) during the week ended July 16 compared to an unrevised 254,000 in the prior week. They remained near a record low. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 262,000 claims. The four-week moving average of claims ease to 257,750.

The latest claims figure covers the survey week for July nonfarm payrolls. Claims fell 5,000 (-1.9%) from the June period. 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 July 9, continuing claims for unemployment insurance fell to 2.128 million (-4.5% y/y) from 2.153 million. Continuing claims were near the lowest level since 2000. The four-week moving average eased to 2.141 million.

The insured rate of unemployment returned to the record low of 1.5%.

Insured rates of unemployment continued to vary across states. Near the low end of the range were South Dakota (0.36%), Nebraska (0.55%) Florida (0.66%), Indiana (0.75%), Virginia (0.81%) and Tennessee (0.89%). At the high end of the scale were Texas (1.60%), Nevada (1.84%), Massachusetts (1.95%), Illinois (1.92%), Pennsylvania (2.45%) and New Jersey (2.62%). 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) 07/16/16 07/09/16 07/02/16 Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Initial Claims 253 254 254 -3.8% 277 307 342
Continuing Claims -- 2,128 2,153 -4.5 2,268 2,607 2,978
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.5 1.6

1.7
(July 2015)

1.7 2.0 2.3
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