The consistently low weekly prints for jobless claims never cease to amaze us. In the latest report this morning, first time claims dropped to 259K from last week’s level of 277K. It was also 11K below consensus expectations of 270K. It has now been 68 weeks since weekly claims were last above 300K. That is the longest streak since December 1973, and before that you have to go back to 1970. Keep in mind, though, that in the early 1970s the US population was much smaller than it is now, so on a population adjusted basis, the current streak is even more impressive.
With this week’s decline, the four-week moving average has now dropped to 267K from 269.25K last week. It has now been nine weeks since claims made their cycle and multi-decade low of 256K, and while jobless claims have managed to surprise us time and time again, we expect that low to remain in place for some time.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, claims were just as impressive, coming in at 249.2K. For the current week of the year, that is 97K below the average since 2000, and the lowest level for the current week of the year since 1973.