Remember back a couple of weeks ago when weekly jobless claims “spiked” up above 250K for two weeks? After those two weeks of elevated readings back in mid-March, jobless claims have dropped back down near their cycle lows. In this week’s report, claims came in at 234K, which was down 1K from last week’s revised reading and 11K below consensus estimates. Claims have now been below 300K for 110 straight weeks, and any concerns that the labor force was weakening following those two relatively elevated prints last month should be alleviated as it looks increasingly likely that they were more weather related than anything else.
With this week’s decline, the four-week moving average has now dropped 3K down to 247.25K. That puts this reading back within 10K of the cycle low of 239.75K that we saw seven weeks ago.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, claims were equally as strong. With a print of 239.9K, NSA claims were more than 130K below their historical average of 372.2K for the current week of the year going back to 2000. It is also the lowest print for the current week of the year dating back to 1969.