Just two weeks ago, initial jobless claims came in at one of the highest readings in recent years at 252K. In the two weeks since then, claims have moderated, returning to levels that are more in line with where they have been in the past year. This week, claims were expected to fall to 220K, instead, they came in slightly worse at 222K this week from 235K last week.
While seasonally adjusted claims have moved lower over the past couple of weeks, the four-week moving average has continued to grind higher for its third consecutive week. With a reading of 213K rolling off the average and replaced by this week’s 222K reading, the four-week moving average now sits at 228K. That is the highest level for the moving average since mid-February when it was 229.5K. While just 1.5K off of the 52-week highs for the moving average, it is also 26.5K off of the 52-week low of 201.5K from April. That is the furthest from the 52-week low that the moving average has been since September of 2017 when it was 37K above its 52-week low.
As is the seasonal norm, non-seasonally adjusted claims rose this week to 284.8K from 270.4K last week. This time of year typically sees claims increases until their annual peak which usually occurs in the first couple of weeks of the new year. Start a two-week free trial to Bespoke Institutional to access our interactive economic indicators monitor and much more.