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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Rise
by Tom Moeller  November 9, 2017

Initial unemployment insurance claims increased to 239,000 (-4.4% y/y) during the week ended November 4 from an unrevised 229,000 in the prior week. Expectations had been for 233,000 claims in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The four-week moving average declined to 231,250, its lowest level since March 1973.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance increased to 1.901 million (-7.3% y/y) in the week ended October 28 from 1.884 million the week before. The four-week moving average of claimants fell to 1.895 million, the lowest point since January 1974.

The insured unemployment rate remained near the record low, though it bumped up w/w to 1.4%.

Insured rates of unemployment varied across the country. For the week ended October 21, the lowest insured rates of unemployment were in South Dakota (0.25%), Nebraska (0.40%), North Dakota (0.44%), North Carolina (0.47%), Indiana (0.49%) and Utah (0.52%). The highest rates continued to be in Massachusetts (1.54%), Pennsylvania (1.62%), Connecticut (1.81%), California (1.83%), New Jersey (2.06%) and Alaska (2.70%). 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) 11/04/17 10/28/17 10/21/17 Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Initial Claims 239 229 234 -4.4 263 278 308
Continuing Claims -- 1,901 1,884 -7.3 2,136 2,267 2,599
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 1.4 1.3

(Oct 2016)

1.6 1.7 2.0
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