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Forecasting the U. S. unemployment rate. (English) Zbl 0918.62091
Summary: This article presents a comparison of forecasting performance for a variety of linear and nonlinear time series models using the U.S. unemployment rate. Our main emphases are on measuring forecasting performance during economic expansions and contractions by exploiting the asymmetric cyclical behavior of unemployment numbers, on building vector models that incorporate initial jobless claims as a leading indicator, and on utilizing additional information provided by the monthly rate for forecasting the quarterly rate. Comparisons are also made with the consensus forecasts from the Survey of Professional Forecasters. In addition, the forecasts of nonlinear models are combined with the consensus forecasts. The results show that significant improvements in forecasting accuracy can be obtained over existing methods.

MSC:
62P20 Applications of statistics to economics
62M20 Inference from stochastic processes and prediction
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