After two straight weeks where jobless claims exceeded 250K and concerns started to surface that jobless claims were beginning to trend higher, this week’s print alleviated some of those fears as claims dropped to a six-week low of 234K.  As shown in the chart below, this week’s decline also put claims back below the trend that was broken to the upside last week and marks the 109th straight week where claims have been below 300K.

040617 Initial Claims SA

With this week’s decline, the four-week moving average dropped by 4.5K down to 250K.  That’s just 10.25K above the post-recession low of 239.75K from six weeks ago back in late February.

040617 Initial Claims SA 4WK

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, claims were just as strong, falling from 228.5K down to 207.6K.  For the current week of the year, this week’s print was the lowest level since 1973, and it’s more than 120K below the average of 328.4K for the current week of the year dating back to 2000.

040617 Initial Claims NSA

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