Entry Date:
January 15, 2016

The Impact of Unemployment Insurance on Job Search: Evidence from Google Search Data

Job search is a key choice variable in theories of labor markets but has proven difficult to measure directly. We develop and validate the Google Job Search Index (GJSI), a measure of job search based on Google search data. The GJSI is publicly available, high-frequency, and location-specific. We use the GJSI to study the effects of the unemployment insurance (UI) expansions between 2008 and 2011. We show that states with higher potential durations of UI experience decreased search. A calibration exercise suggests that the decrease in job search due to UI expansions had minor effects on unemployment rates.