What are Jobless Claims?
This is the number of people who are going to file or who have already filed to obtain unemployment benefits according to the US Department of Labor. There are initial jobless claims where individuals are filing for the first time and then there are continuing jobless claims where unemployed individuals are receiving benefits for some time. Jobless claims give a good sign of how the economy is doing. These jobless claims are reported weekly.
Why You Care
When jobless claims increase, it signals to market analysts that the economic environment is challenging. There can be some volatility in the weekly jobless claims numbers and so investors look at the four-week moving average, for instance, to determine the underlying trend.