Jobless claims came in lower than expected again this week as first-time claims came in at 259K compared to expectations of 265K. This marks the second straight week that claims have been below 260K, which is something that hasn’t happened since 1973! Keep in mind too that the US population is 50% larger now than it was then.
With this week’s better than expected reading, the four-week moving average continues to defy the odds, falling to 263.25K. That represents a new cycle low and is also the lowest level since December 1973.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis (NSA), jobless claims dropped by 23.6K to 232.9. For this week of the year, this week’s NSA reading is close to 100K below the historical average going back to 2000, and to find a year where it was lower, you have to go all the way back to – you guessed it – 1973.