Multi-sector What does Google search interest in unemployment tell us?

The Coronavirus has led to business closures and layoffs, especially in the service industry. The week of March 21, when far-reaching restrictions on public gatherings were announced, saw a rapid rise in search interest for unemployment.

30 Mar 2020
  • As of March 21, weekly US Google search interest in unemployment as a percent of all searches had increased by ~8x vs. the previous week. Initial jobless claims reached a record 3.3. million that week.
  • Washington state, where the first case was reported, saw an early increase in search interest.
  • Search in New York state, which has the most confirmed cases, surged in the week of March 21, when the governor announced non-essential businesses would have to close.
  • California, which was one of the earlier states to be hit by the virus and has put in place tight restrictions on public activity, has seen a less pronounced increase.

US Google Search Interest in Unemployment

Google Search Interest in Unemployment - Washington, New York, California 

Source: UBS Evidence Lab, Google