Monday, September 26, 2011

US Initial Claims Data

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.

1 comment:

Wyoming said...


Perhaps the initial claims data would be an unreliable metric in the current circumstances. Since there was no big hiring surge when we came out of the last recession (technically) then there just might not be a big surge in layoffs as we fall into the next one.