Jobless claims rose for the third straight week, rising to 250K from last week’s level of 247K.  That was 10K above the consensus forecast of 240K and the highest weekly print since 11/10/17.  Even with three straight weeks of increases, though, jobless claims are nowhere near 300K, which is a level they have been below for 148 straight weeks now.

With the recent increases, the four-week moving average of claims has been ticking higher the last two weeks to its current level of 241.25K.  That’s 10K above the cycle low of 231.25K that we saw back in early November, but given the recent trends in claims, it doesn’t look like we will be getting back down there anytime soon.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, jobless claims rose by 27K to 351.9K.  While that’s well below the average of 505.6K for the current week of the year dating back to 2000, NSA claims were actually slightly lower at this point last year (350.6K) than they are now.

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