Jobless claims

Release Date: Usually released weekly, about 5 days after the week ends (i.e. every Thursday)
Release Time: Usually at 8.30am US Eastern Time
Released By: The US Department of Labor on the US Department of Labor ETA

The Jobless Claims data is a US data release that measures the number of unemployed people who file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits for the first time during the past week. Unadjusted data is usually collated from all the states along with claims filed at federal level and after seasonal adjustments have been made to figures, these are released weekly as the Jobless Claims.

This data is also known as the Unemployment Claims data, and includes claims filed by people who had worked in transportation and warehousing, educational services, agriculture, construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade and food services industries.

Time of Release

The Jobless Claims data is usually released weekly, about 5 days after the week ends (i.e. every Thursday. The time of release is 8.30am US Eastern Time. The data is released on the website of the US Department of Labor, on the US Department of Labor ETA and also on independent news feeds from Bloomberg and Thomas Reuters.

Interpreting the Data

Ever since the global financial crisis sent US unemployment to record levels, employment data have assumed great market impact. Thus the US Jobless Claims report is now a high impact new release. It is also a lagging indicator that tells a story of the economic health of the US because of the impact of having a job on consumer spending. In the US, those who are jobless can file for unemployment benefits as a social security entitlement, and first-time seekers of unemployment insurance is a measure of how many people were recently put out of work.

Unemployment is also used in steering the country’s monetary policy, as the US Fed Reserve is bound by US laws to get directly involved in developing monetary policies that will reduce unemployment.

If the reading is less than expected, this is USD positive. If there are more filings of Jobless Claims than expected, this is USD negative.


The weight of the Jobless Claims data on the market will depend on the focus of traders for that period. If there is a lot of concern about the labor market, the market impact will be greater.