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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Rise
by Tom Moeller  July 27, 2017

Initial unemployment insurance claims increased to 244,000 (-5.2%) during the week ended July 22 from 234,000 in the prior week, revised from 233,000. Expectations called for 240,000 claims in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The four-week moving average held steady at 244,000. 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 eased to 1.964 million (-7.9% y/y) in the week ended July 15, and reversed much of the prior week's increase. The four-week moving average of claimants increased to 1.964 million, the highest level since late-April.

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 July 8, the lowest rates were in South Dakota (0.32%), Indiana (0.52%), North Carolina (0.57%), Nebraska (0.58%), Florida (0.65%) and Tennessee (0.85%). The highest rates were found in Illinois (1.79%), Massachusetts (1.95%), California (2.13%), Alaska (2.31%), Connecticut (2.53%) and New Jersey (2.72%). 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) 07/22/17 07/15/17 07/08/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Initial Claims 244 234 248 -5.2 263 278 308
Continuing Claims -- 1,964 1,977 -7.9 2,136 2,267 2,599
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.4 1.4

1.6
(July 2016)

1.6 1.7 2.0
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