Initial Jobless Claims
A government index that tracks the number of filings for state unemployment benefits. This report provides a timely, but often misleading, indicator of the direction of the economy, with increases (decreases) in claims potentially signaling slowing (accelerating) job growth. On a week-to-week basis, claims are quite volatile, and many analysts therefore track a four-week moving average to get a better sense of the underlying trend. It typically takes a sustained move of at least 30K in claims to signal a meaningful change in job growth.
There are two other statistics in this report--the number of people receiving state benefits and the insured unemployment rate; neither is watched closely by the market. Some analysts track the number of people receiving state benefits from month to month as a guide for job growth, though this series has a poor track record in predicting the monthly employment report. The insured unemployment rate changes little on a weekly basis and is never a factor for the market.
Importance (A-F): This release merits a C+.
Source: The Employment and Training Administration of the Department of Labor.
Release Time: 8:30 ET each Thursday (data for week ended prior Saturday).
Raw Data Available At: