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Jobless claims once again came in at impressive levels this week, rising from 235K up to 236K compared to expectations for a reading of 237K. How impressive are the current low levels of jobless claims? Here are a few examples. For starters, this week’s reading was the 130th straight weekly print where claims came in below 300K. It was the 13th straight week where claims were at or below 250K, and the third straight week where claims were below 240K. All of these streaks are simply amazing. All good things must come to an end, though, and because of the impacts from Hurricane Harvey, you can expect that in the next couple of weeks, claims will definitely be rising back above 250K and most like back above 300K as well.
With this week’s sub-240K print, the four-week moving average for jobless claims almost made a new cycle low, falling from 238K down to 236.75K. That’s just 1.25K above the multi-decade low of 235.5K from mid-May. Again, though, because claims are likely to rise in the coming weeks, that low from May is more than likely safe…for now.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, claims were also strong, coming in at just 196K. For the current week of the year, that is 96K below the average for the current week of the year dating back to 2000. To find a year where claims were lower for the current week, you have to go back to 1973.