Initial jobless claims - the one macro indicator you should watch

Initial jobless claim report tracks how many new people have filed a claim to receive state jobless benefits in the previous week. The report issued by the U.S. Department of Labor on a weekly basis is a good gauge of the U.S. job market and is highly (negatively) correlated with the economy.

In the graph you can see the ratio of total U.S work force to 4 weeks moving average of initial jobless claims, the shaded areas represent recessions. We can see how this ratio has successfully indicated recession times. his ratio has also high correlation to the stock market which can help us in our market timing decisions. Right now the ratio shows very good positive trend which indicates a strong bullish market.

You can get the data used to construct the graph here:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?s[1][id]=IC4WSA#

Initial-jobless-claims.jpg