Monday, September 26, 2011
The weekly data on initial claims for unemployment insurance (UIC) is an incredibly helpful series for economy watchers. As shown above, recessions are strongly associated with sharp rises in claims that then get sustained. But the data are weekly so offer one of the best real time indicators of the kind of wave of mass fear amongst employers that occurs during recessions.
Events in Europe recently have got to have raised the odds of a US recession, but it clearly is not happening yet - the UIC are still at an elevated level following the last recession but show no signs of a new spike.