Using Social Media to Measure Labor Market Flows

50 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2014 Last revised: 6 Mar 2021

See all articles by Dolan Antenucci

Dolan Antenucci

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Michael Cafarella

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Margaret C. Levenstein

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Survey Research Center; The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, Business Economics and Public Policy

Christopher Ré

Stanford University

Matthew D. Shapiro

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: March 2014

Abstract

Social media enable promising new approaches to measuring economic activity and analyzing economic behavior at high frequency and in real time using information independent from standard survey and administrative sources. This paper uses data from Twitter to create indexes of job loss, job search, and job posting. Signals are derived by counting job-related phrases in Tweets such as "lost my job." The social media indexes are constructed from the principal components of these signals. The University of Michigan Social Media Job Loss Index tracks initial claims for unemployment insurance at medium and high frequencies and predicts 15 to 20 percent of the variance of the prediction error of the consensus forecast for initial claims. The social media indexes provide real-time indicators of events such as Hurricane Sandy and the 2013 government shutdown. Comparing the job loss index with the search and posting indexes indicates that the Beveridge Curve has been shifting inward since 2011. The University of Michigan Social Media Job Loss index is update weekly and is available athttp://econprediction.eecs.umich.edu/.

Suggested Citation

Antenucci, Dolan and Cafarella, Michael and Levenstein, Margaret C. and Ré, Christopher and Shapiro, Matthew D., Using Social Media to Measure Labor Market Flows (March 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2418125

Dolan Antenucci (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

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Michael Cafarella

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

500 S. State Street

Margaret C. Levenstein

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Survey Research Center ( email )

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Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, Business Economics and Public Policy

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United States
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Christopher Ré

Stanford University

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United States

Matthew D. Shapiro

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics ( email )

and Survey Research Center
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