After two weeks of increases, jobless claims saw their largest one-week decline since April this week, falling from 232K down to 214K. At 214K, initial claims are just 5K above their cycle low of 209K back on 4/20, but more importantly, claims have now been below 300K for a record 175 straight weeks and at or below 250K for 40 weeks. If that’s not impressive, what is?
Even with this week’s decline, though, the four-week moving average barely budged lower, falling from 224.75K down to 223K. That’s 9.5K above the cycle low of 213.5K on 5/11. With a print of 218K falling off the count next week, it’s going to be hard to make much downside headway in this reading.
The most impressive aspect of the report this week was the non-seasonally adjusted numbers. At a level of 264.5K, NSA claims were more than 130K below the average for the current week of the year dating back to 2000, and going all the way back to the late 1960s when the series starts, there has never been a lower reading for the current week of the year.