Stay up-to-date on unemployment numbers with SONAR.

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Did you know? You can measure weekly reports for unemployment insurance claims in SONAR.

What is it?

Initial Jobless Claims (IJC) – The U.S. Department of Labor releases a weekly report  of unemployment insurance claims throughout the country. The initial claims are those filed by an unemployed individual upon separation from his/her employer. These are individuals who are filing for unemployment insurance payments the first time since their separation and have not yet received benefits.The applications are  processed in order to determine eligibility to receive benefits. Individuals who have received initial benefits after being declared eligible are counted in the Continued Claims measurement. 

Initial Jobless Claims

The chart above shows the weekly total for initial jobless claims in the U.S. 

Who needs it?

Analysts can use this data to monitor employment conditions to have a better grasp of labor markets and the macroeconomic environment. 

Carriers that are exposed to consumer-facing industries can use this data to gauge expectations of consumer strength and factor the impact it may have on volumes.

Brokers can use this data to target shippers or carriers involved in downstream consumer-facing industries that might be impacted by sudden fluctuations in consumer strength. 

Shippers can use this data to gauge expectations for their vertical. If jobless claims are low, consumers are likely in a financially stable position to make purchases. Conversely, shippers that are exposed to consumer behavior may have to readjust expectations when claims are high and propensity to spend is low.

What can I do with it?

The report is broken out into different measurements that are all meaningful. The weekly initial claims show the most recent week’s variations for employment conditions throughout the United States. However, the weekly initial claims can be volatile, so the four-week moving average is also used to see where the overall trend for employment is moving. Continued claims are also measured in the release and show the pace of expansion or contraction for unemployment throughout the U.S. 

Unemployment data can be separated into the following indices:

  • IJC.USA – Initial Jobless Claims, U.S.
  • IJCG.USA – Initial Jobless Claims, U.S., Year-over-year 
  • WJC.USA – Weekly Jobless Claims, U.S.
  • WJCG.USA – Weekly Jobless Claims, U.S., Year-over-year
  • CCSA.USA – Continued Claims, U.S. 
  • CCSAG.USA – Continued Claims, U.S., Year-over-year

Show me how!

1) Click the large Plus sign in the top right corner of a custom page. 

2) Select the chart option from the drop-down menu.

3) Type IJC.USA into the search “Enter Symbol” field.

Pro Tip: Turn on large fonts in the display settings under Chart Preferences for viewing ease.