In contrast with the weak employment growth figures, national unemployment indicators suggest a gradually improving labor market. The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a frequent and timely measure of current labor market conditions, has continued to decline. Since the end of September, the four-week moving average has registered fewer than 400,000 claims, the number that many consider an indicator of recession. The trends for continued claims are similar.
Suggested citation: "Measuring Unemployment," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 04-03, pp. 14-15, 03.01.2004.