Jobless claims came in slightly higher than expected this week with first-time claims coming in at 222K compared to expectations for 220K. Make no mistake, though, 222K is still extraordinarily low. It also marks the 170th straight week that claims have been below 300K (longest on record) and the 35th straight week that claims have been 250K or lower (longest streak since 1970).
While claims declined for the second straight week, the four-week moving actually increased slightly, rising from 222.75K up to 225.5K. That puts the current reading 12K above the multi-decade low of 213.5K that we saw back on 5/11/18.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis (NSA), claims dropped from 202.8K down to 191.2K. For the current week of the year, this is the lowest level since 1973 and more than 100K below the average for the current week of the year dating back to 2000.