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A Summer Break for the Unemployment Rate: Google-Assisted Forecasting Signals Easing


  • Nikos Askitas
  • Klaus F. Zimmermann


To date, the Great Recession has only had a mild impact on the German labor market. In view of the uncertainties surrounding future economic growth, the low utilization of the workforce in firms, and the prevalence of working hour reductions, many observers are anticipating a dramatic rise in unemployment in the fall, with the total number of unemployed rapidly surpassing the four-million mark. Yet according to forecasts based on Google search statistics, in all likelihood the unemployment rate will remain relatively stable in August and through the end of September, when elections for the German Bundestag will be held. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is actually falling. Given this fact, the danger that the total number of unemployed will exceed four million during this year seems increasingly unlikely.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikos Askitas & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2009. "A Summer Break for the Unemployment Rate: Google-Assisted Forecasting Signals Easing," Weekly Report, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 5(25), pages 176-181.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwrp:wr5-25

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    More about this item


    Google; Internet; Keyword search; Search engine; Unemployment; Predictions;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications


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