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This item downloads seasonally adjusted 4-Week moving average of Initial Jobless Claims from the U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data starts from 1967 to present and is updated weekly. The symbol associated with this time-series is '^Initial_Jobless_Claims'.
The Initial Jobless Claim is an important economic indicator that measures the strenght in the labor market. It is an estimation of the number of people that have filed for unemployment benefits during the previous week. During 2008, we have seen an increasing number of people seeking for jobs. The 4-week moving average Initial Claims was 344250 at the beginning of 2008 and it ended the year at 544000; an increase of about 58%.
An increasing number of Initial Claims means that more people are searching for a job and this indicates a weakness in the labor market. A decrease in this report number indicates that the labor market is going well.
- The 'obs_end_date' tab contains the end download date. You should change this field in order to download the latest releases. The current value of 'obs_end_date' is '2009-10-10'.
- The data is relased on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.
- The series is volatitle and it is subject to big revisions.
- The downloaded data is a four-week average of Initial Claims. It is a better gauge of the claims' trend.