You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Red Sox Live

2

3

▲  5th Inning 2 outs

Can Twitter predict the economy?

Can Twitter predict the economy? According to economists at the University of Michigan, it might be able to—at least when it comes to unemployment claims.

The Wall Street Journal shared an report produced by the school, based off a proprietary technique called “nowcasting” that scans Twitter for posts about people losing their jobs, and then predicts what the Labor Department’s weekly unemployment report will look like.

Continue reading below

The algorithm can pick up on tweets that hint at job loss—if someone posts that they were just laid off, for example—and then tallies up those tweets as part of their prediction. According to the data produced so far, the predictions made via Twitter data are not far from the predictions offered by economists, though the data procured via the social media site tends to skew dour.

Seems like one person’s tweet is another professor’s experiment (and yet another reminder that what we post on social media lives forever).

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.