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Frontiers of Economics in China

ISSN 1673-3444

ISSN 1673-3568(Online)

CN 11-5744/F

Postal Subscription Code 80-978

Front. Econ. China    2014, Vol. 9 Issue (4) : 573-605
research-article |
Chinese Online Unemployment-Related Searches and Macroeconomic Indicators
Zhi Su()
International School of Economics and Management, Capital University of Economics and Business, Beijing 100070, China
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Official monthly unemployment data is unavailable in China, while intense public interest in unemployment requires timely and accurate information. Using data on web queries from lead search engines in China, Baidu and Google, I build two indices measuring intensity of online unemployment-related searches. The unemployment-related search indices identify a structural break in the time series between October and November 2008, which corresponds to a turning point indicated by some macroeconomic indicators. The unemployment- related search indices are proven to have significant correlation with Purchasing Managers’ Employment Indices and a set of macroeconomic indicators that are closely related to changes in unemployment in China. The results of Granger causality analysis show that the unemployment-related search indices can improve predictions of the macroeconomic indicators. It suggests that unemployment- related searches can potentially provide valuable, timely, and low-cost information for macroeconomic monitoring.

Keywords macroeconomic monitoring      Baidu Index      Google Trends      unemployment- related search indices     
Issue Date: 11 December 2014
 Cite this article:   
Zhi Su. Chinese Online Unemployment-Related Searches and Macroeconomic Indicators[J]. Front. Econ. China, 2014, 9(4): 573-605.
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