Two weeks after seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims came in at the lowest level in 3 months (208K), this week’s claims data continued to edge even lower dropping to 206K.  This 206K number is now only 13K above the multi-decade low of 193K from the April 12th release.  Expectations were actually calling for a small increase to 217K from last week’s 216K. This week’s drop also gave some headroom to the record streaks below 250K and 300K which grew to 94 and 229 weeks, respectively. Overall, this was a healthy print for claims as it held up near the lower end of the past year’s range and helped to reaffirm a trend lower of the past several weeks.

The four-week moving average, which helps to smooth out some of the week-to-week fluctuations, dropped to 213K from 218.75K last week.  Similar to the seasonally adjusted weekly number, the moving average is also near the multi-decade lows from April (201.5K).  Assuming next week sees another healthy print like we have over the past few weeks and with the recent high of 222K rolling off, the average could continue to grind lower.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, claims came in at 194.9K.  This was a sizeable drop of 48.7K from last week’s number.  This could be expected though as last week has typically been a seasonal peak for this time of the year. Regardless of seasonality, this drop to 194.9K is still a healthy print as this week’s reading is well below the average for the current week since 2000 and the lowest for the current week of the year of this cycle.  Start a two-week free trial to Bespoke Institutional to access our interactive economic indicators monitor and much more.

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