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Continued jobless claims is a primary economic indicator, but one of secondary importance to the underlying employment picture. As the name suggests, the data describe jobless claims that are ongoing or continued.
Initial jobless claims is a primary leading macroeconomic indicator. The data here describe the number of first time or initial claims for unemployment benefits statewide. The underlying theory is that a stronger economy will lead to more people employed, thus the number of people that are newly unemployed should drop.
State unemployment insurance benefits provide financial assistance to eligibly unemployed workers during times of economic uncertainty. These programs at the state level are usually categorized as mandatory spending, thus they act as automatic stabilizers whose funding levels fluctuate with unemployment claims.
The Louisiana unemployment rate is the ratio of the number of individuals unemployed to the total number of individuals in the labor force. As economic conditions improve more individuals join the labor force and more are hired, decreasing the overall ratio.