Google unemployment index estimates and predicts unemployment

August 20th, 2010

The Google Unemployment Index is an economic indicator based on queries sent to Google’s search engine related to unemployment, social security, welfare, and unemployment benefits. Since some of these search terms are probably leading indicators, it can also be used to predict upcoming changes in the actual unemployment rate.

The index is based on queries tracked via Google Insights for Search that are tuned to different countries and you can also focus on particular regions or metropolitan areas and compare the index in several locations. Here’s an example comparing Florida (blue) and Maryland (red).