Initial jobless claims came in 3K lower than expected this week falling from 248K to 232K.  While it does not take away from the fact that the current level of claims is at the low end of the historical range, this week’s number remains 44K above the multi-decade lows set in late 2021.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, claims remain within the range of readings from the few years leading up to the pandemic.  This week saw a drop from 239.7K to 214.9K; the lowest level since March 2020.  Claims continue to generally follow the usual seasonal pattern and the next few weeks of the year have historically tended to mark a short-term seasonal low. In other words, some minor seasonal headwinds are on the horizon.

Continuing claims experienced a significant drop this week falling by 112K to 1.476 million. Not only did that exceed expectations by over 100K, but that also marked the largest decline of 2022 to bring claims to the lowest level since March 1970. Click here to view Bespoke’s premium membership options.

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