The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance is an important economic indicator because it provides frequent, timely information about the U.S. workforce. This number received a great deal of attention last month, because the four-week moving average exceeded 400,000, which many consider an indicator of recession. Other indicators, however, do not suggest a renewed recession. Even so, the unemployment insurance system provides a wealth of current labor market information.
Suggested citation: "Unemployment Claims," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 02-11, pp. 13-15, 11.01.2002.