Three weeks ago, seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims hit a multi-decade low, breaking below 200K. Last week, claims moved slightly higher to 205K, and the reading was identical this week. Although we are not at our lows, the reading of 205K is historically strong.
While claims are at a healthy level, the seasonal adjustment has had a flattering effect recently. Historically, the number of non-seasonally adjusted claims has moved higher this week 68.5% of the time but moved lower this week. This comes as NSA claims have broken historical trends over the last 15 weeks, moving lower when the average of all years moves higher. Non-seasonally adjusted claims decreased from 266K to 254K.
Continuing claims, which are delayed by a week, came in slightly lower than the previous week at 1.86M, setting a new pandemic low. This is the lowest level since March 13, 2020.
Including all other programs creates an additional week of lag making the most recent data through the first week of December. In that week, total continuing claims ticked lower, moving from 2.46M to 2.12M. The decrease in claims was consistent across all programs. Click here to view Bespoke’s premium membership options.