Last week, seasonally adjusted jobless claims saw a large move back below the past several months’ range when the headline reading fell to 204K. This was the lowest print since April when it was at a 50 year low. This week, although still near the lows of the past few months, there was a small uptick to 208K on top of an upward revision of last week’s print (revised to 206K). Despite this increase, this week’s data was still better than expectations as forecasts were calling for a much larger increase to 213K. Also on the bright side, claims have now been at or below 250K and 300K for record streaks of 102 and 237 consecutive weeks, respectively.
Despite last week’s revision and this week’s higher claims number, the four-week moving average actually ticked down to 212.25K. But it was a tiny decrease of just 0.75K from last week which brings the average to its lowest level since the final week of July when it was at 212K. Given these small fluctuations, the average continues to show minimal improvements as it has been flat in the past year.
Last week, non-seasonally claims came in at their lowest level since the 1960’s. This week, claims rose from that 160.3K reading up to 172.1K. As a result of seasonal factors, last week likely marked this year’s low for NSA claims. It can be taken as a positive sign, though, that this week’s reading of 172.1K, although higher week-over-week, was down versus the same week last year.
In addition to initial jobless claims showing improvements over the past couple of weeks, so has continuing claims. Falling to 1661K this week, continuing claims are at their lowest levels since April. Much like seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims, continuing claims have finally begun to grind lower after remaining relatively flat, if not sloping upwards, over the past year. Start a two-week free trial to Bespoke Institutional to access our interactive economic indicators monitor and much more.