Leading, or trailing? A leading indicator would mean that gas prices drop prior to the increase in unemployment. Possible, given the affect speculators have on the market. A trailing indicator would mean that gas prices drop after the increase in unemployment. Your rationale would seem to indicate its use as a trailing indicator - unemployment increases, causing a decrease in commutes, a decrease in purchases, and a decrease in overall transportation for all kinds of goods. After enough time to ripple back through the supply chain, this would result in an over supply of gasoline relative to the new, lower demand, and a resultant new equilibrium reached at a lower price. That all assumes traditional supply/demand curves, and doesn't really take into account the specifics of the oil industry, where speculators set price more than consumers.