Last week, the Department of Labor’s weekly Initial Jobless Claims came in at 209k, which was the lowest level since April’s multi-decade low print of 193K. This week, that 209K was revised even lower to 208K while this week’s data met expectations by rising to 216K. This leaves claims still at the lower end of the past year’s range. Seasonally adjusted claims have been at or below 300K for 228 weeks and at or below 250K for 93 weeks.
The four-week moving average for seasonally adjusted claims saw only a slight change falling from 219K down to 218.75K. This is as mid-June’s print of 217K rolled off the average to be replaced by this week’s 216K. This was the smallest absolute change in the moving average of 2019 and the smallest move since a 0.25K increase in October of last year.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, as could be expected due to seasonal factors, claims rose to 243.5K from 232K last week. A week over week increase is common for this time of the year. As shown from the red dots in the chart below, this week of the year has frequently marked a short term peak for non-seasonally adjusted claims throughout the current cycle. Granted, more recently in 2017 and 2018, that peak was actually the previous week of the year. Given this, this week’s NSA data saw a year-over-year increase but the 243.5K was still below the 2018 seasonal peak of 264.9K. In other words, the YoY increase can be taken with a grain of salt. Start a two-week free trial to Bespoke Institutional to access our interactive economic indicators monitor and much more.