After two straight weeks of higher than expected and 300K+ readings, jobless claims came in better than expected and below 300K. While economists were forecasting claims to come in at a level of 305K, the actual reading was 289K, which was the lowest level in three weeks.
This week’s decline in weekly jobless claims caused the four-week moving average to show a modest decline, falling from 306K down to 302.25K. While the drop is welcome, the four-week moving average remains well above its post-recession low of 279K back on 10/31/14. Next week, we will be dropping a reading of 282K off the four-week count, so unless next week’s number is even better don’t expect another decline next week.
Non seasonally adjusted (NSA) jobless claims fell by more than 38K last week, falling from 315.6K down to 277.2K. For the current week of the year, this is the lowest reading since 2006. It is also more than 80K below the historical average of 360.225K for the current week dating back to 2000.