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Initial Jobless Claims 4-Week Average show the number of people filing to receive unemployment insurance benefits for the first time over the past four weeks. In other words, the indicator reflects how many people lost their jobs during the given period.
The indicator is used to assess the state of the labor market and general US economy health. Since monthly collected data are highly volatile, economists often monitor average monthly data. High volatility can stem from different factors. For example, there can be less claims due to a reduced working week (during holidays or vacations).
The systematic growth of this average indicator points to a weakening of the labor market and to an increase in unemployment. Initial jobless claims typically rise before the economy enters the recession (or decline before the economy starts to recover). Therefore, it is considered a strong leading indicator of the US economy health.
In addition, the Fed takes into account the state of the labor market in its interest rate decision. So, the growth of jobless claims registered for several months in a row can have a negative effect on US dollar quotes.
The chart of the entire available history of the "United States Initial Jobless Claims 4-Week Average" macroeconomic indicator. The dashed line shows the forecast values of the economic indicator for the specified dates.
A significant deviation of a real value from a forecast one may cause a short-term strengthening or weakening of a national currency in the Forex market. The threshold values of the indicators signaling the approach of the critical state of the national (local) economy occupy a special place.
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