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The Initial Jobless Claims Report is a method of noticing changes in the employment market. This report is therefore an economic indicator, to some extent. It is provided by the Employment and Training Administration of the Department of Labor, and the report comes out for viewing on a weekly basis, each Thursday. The report provides information on the data from the previous week, ending on the Saturday before.

The Initial Jobless Claims report provides information on how many individuals have filed for state unemployment benefits during the previous week. This number can be a predictor of what the economy is doing. If there is a significant increase in these claims, it could potentially be pointing to slowing job growth, as unemployment rises. On the other hand, when this number decreases significantly, it can be a sign that the economy is accelerating in job growth and therefore is economically sound. Yet, most investors will only consider this in a four week average, as these factors can be very volatile. Finally, most investors will tell you that a significant number of changes are a move of at least 30,000 claims up or down. Anything less can be merely normal fluctuations.

Those that are interested in learning this information can get the report each Thursday morning at the Department of Labor