DEFINITION of 'Initial Claims'
A measure of the number of jobless claims filed by individuals seeking to receive state jobless benefits. This number is watched closely by financial analysts because it provides insight into the direction of the economy. Higher initial claims correlate with a weakening economy.
BREAKING DOWN 'Initial Claims'
The strength of a nation's economy will have an impact on the appreciation or depreciation of its currency against other major currencies. Therefore, forex traders typically look at the initial claims figure as part of their analyses when assessing a currency's prospects for the immediate future. Generally speaking, week-by-week numbers are too volatile to get an accurate picture of economic changes, so four-week moving averages are typically used for the initial claims metric.