Continued Jobless Claims

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. When an unemployed individual first files for unemployment benefits they show up in the initial claims data. If they continue to receive benefits they show up here as a continued claim. While initial claims represents emerging unemployment (and as such is a leading indicator) communicating real-time changes to the employment picture, continuing claims represent insured unemployment. This of course is a subset of all unemployment since not all that are unemployed file or receive benefits at the state and/or federal level.

Continued Claims Historical Data

Below continued claims are plotted from 1986 to present1. The data exhibit a long term average of 2.90309110^{4} weekly claims and a median of 2.311710^{4} claims, which indicates that the sharp spike in claims in 2005 and 2008 skews the average upward away from the median.

The more recent insured unemployment estimates indicate a declining trend exiting the recession which mimics the broader U.S. unemployment data. By 2013 Louisiana insured unemployment reverted back to its long term average. Since July 2016, continued jobless claims have been below the long term average.

Continued Claims Forecasts

Forecasts2 for Louisiana insured unemployment claims are made from an aggregation of multiple statistical models designed to approximate the underlying data generating process of the available data. A Bayesian model averaging approach is used here to capture the joint uncertainty that any given model may be misspecified as well as capturing the probabilistic uncertainty inherent in each individual estimate. Observed data is given in blue while forecasts are presented in orange. The weighted average of all models used is represented by the solid orange line. The upper bound and lower of the cone of uncertainty surrounding these estimates is represented by the dashed upper and lower lines respectively.


  1. Please note that the graphs below are interactive HTML widgets. Please hover over each to examine the underlying data that comprises them.

  2. Forecasts are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only without any explicit or implied warranty. The authors and publishers of this post and site bear no responsibility for the information provided here and cannot be held liable for any negative consequences that may arise due its publication. Forecasting the future is inherently a tricky proposition, and all forecasts have an error term attached to them. Please exercise caution when making financial and business decisions based on the information provided. Use this information as a single input into your decisions making process.

Patrick is an assistant professor of Economics at Louisiana Tech University. He researches interest rate determination and the inflationary consequences of suboptimal monetary policy. He teaches monetary economics, research methods & macroeconomic theory.