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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Rise
by Tom Moeller  June 29, 2017

Initial unemployment insurance claims during the week ended June 24 increased to 244,000 (-8.6% y/y) from 242,000 in the prior week, revised from 241,000. Expectations called for 240,000 claims in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The four-week moving average declined to 242,250. During the last ten years, there has been a 72% correlation between the level of initial claims and the m/m change in nonfarm payrolls.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance rose to 1.948 million (-9.7% y/y) in the week ended June 17, the highest level in eight weeks. The four-week moving average of claimants increased to 1.939 million.

The insured unemployment rate remained at the record low of 1.4%.

Insured rates of unemployment continue to vary widely across the country. For the week ended June 10, the lowest rates were in South Dakota (0.32%), Nebraska (0.52%), Indiana (0.54%), North Carolina (0.54%), Florida (0.58%) and Utah (0.58%). The highest rates were found in Alaska (2.71%), New Jersey (2.14%), Connecticut (2.02%), California (2.00%), Illinois (1.79%) and Massachusetts (1.69%). These state data are not seasonally adjusted.

The unemployment insurance claims data begin January 2, 1971. 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) 06/24/17 06/17/17 06/10/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Initial Claims 244 242 238 -8.6 263 278 308
Continuing Claims -- 1,948 1,942 -9.7 2,136 2,267 2,599
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.4 1.4

1.6
(June 2016)

1.6 1.7 2.0
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