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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Edge Up 2,000
by Carol Stone, CBE  August 24, 2017

Initial unemployment insurance applications rose to 234,000 (-10.0% y/y) during the week ended August 19 from an unrevised 232,000 during the prior week. Expectations in the Action Economics Forecast Survey were for 238,000 claims. The four-week moving average eased to 237,750 from 240,500.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance were unchanged at 1.954 million (-8.6% y/y) in the week ended August 12, following a decline from 1.956 million in the prior week. The four-week moving average of claimants declined to a lessened 1.958 million.

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

Insured rates of unemployment vary widely across the country. For the week ended August 5, the lowest rates were in South Dakota (0.31%), Indiana (0.51%), Nebraska (0.53%), Utah (0.55%) and North Carolina (0.56%). The highest rates were found in California (2.01%), Alaska (2.14%), Pennsylvania (2.18%), Connecticut (2.41%) and New Jersey (2.66%). These 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 Forecast Survey, carried in the AS1REPNA database.

Unemployment Insurance (SA, 000s) 08/19/17 08/12/17 08/05/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Initial Claims 234 232 244 -10.0 263 278 308
Continuing Claims -- 1,954 1,954 -8.6 2,136 2,267 2,599
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.4 1.4

(Aug 2016)

1.6 1.7 2.0
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