Google Searches Predict Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims

NERCRD COVID-19 Issues Brief No. 2020-5: The COVID-19 pandemic produced historically unprecedented numbers of layoffs, leading to surges in the number of unemployment filings: over 26 million Americans have filed claims for unemployment benefits (New York Times, 4/23/2020). In this brief we show how Google Trends searches predated or anticipated these filings, and how they were propagated across the different states as the coronavirus took its toll.

Authors: Zheng Tian and Stephan J. Goetz

Publication: NERCRD COVID-19 Issues Brief Series   Date Published: May 1, 2020


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