Due to the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, Jobless claims were released a day early this week and managed to come in below expectations. While economists were expecting first time claims to come in at 270K, the actual reading fell by 12K to 260K. This was the lowest weekly reading in a month, and just 5K above the cycle low of 255K that we saw in mid-July. At a time when most economic data has disappointed, jobless claims are a positive standout.
Although we saw a nice drop in the weekly reading, the four-week moving average for jobless claims remained unchanged at 271K. That’s because we also dropped a reading of 260K from the four-week count. It has now been five weeks since this indicator last made a cycle low of 259.25K on 10/23.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, jobless claims increased by 41K this week, but before we start panicking, keep in mind that NSA claims typically rise at this time of year. In fact, this week’s reading of 305.8K was more than 100K below the average of 407K for the current week of the year and the lowest since 1973.