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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Rise
by Tom Moeller  July 28, 2016

Initial unemployment insurance claims increased to 266,000 (-1.1% y/y) during the week ended July 23 from 252,000 in the prior week, revised from 253,000. Claims remained near the lowest level since 1973. The four-week moving average eased to 256,500. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 260,000 claims in the latest week. During the last ten years, there has been a 75% correlation between the level of claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

Continuing claims for jobless nudged higher to 2.139 million (-5.8% y/y) from 2.132 million. The four-week moving average declined to 2.135 million, also near a four-decade low.

The insured rate of unemployment ticked up to 1.6% from 1.5%.

Insured rates of unemployment continued to vary across states. Near the low end of the range were South Dakota (0.42%), Nebraska (0.58%), Florida (0.69%), North Carolina (0.69%), Indiana (0.77%) and Virginia (0.85%). At the high end of the scale were Texas (1.68%), Nevada (1.92%), Illinois (1.97%), Massachusetts (1.99%), Pennsylvania (2.49%) and New Jersey (2.78%). 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) 07/23/16 07/16/16 07/09/16 Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Initial Claims 266 252 254 -1.1% 277 307 342
Continuing Claims -- 2,139 2,132 -5.8 2,268 2,607 2,978
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.6 1.5

(July 2015)

1.7 2.0 2.3
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