Jobless claims came in lower than expected this week, marking the fourth straight week of better than expected readings.  The last time we saw a streak this long was last October when claims came in lower than expected for nine straight weeks.  While economists were expecting claims to come in at a level of 238K, the actual reading came in at 234K, marking the fourth straight week where claims were below 240K.  You know when that happened last?  1973!

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052517 Initial Claims SA

With this week’s lower than expected reading in claims, the four-week moving average also crossed a new milestone, falling from 241K down to 235.25K.  That marks a new cycle low and is the lowest reading for the four-week moving average since…you guessed it – 1973!

052517 Initial Claims SA 4WK

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis (NSA), jobless claims actually rose slightly from 207K up to 209.8K.  Despite the increase, though, this week’s level was still more than 100K below the average for the current week of the year dating back to 1973.  In fact, to find a reading for the current week of the year where NSA claims were lower, you have to go back to – wait what was that year again?  Oh right- 1973.

052517 Initial Claims NSA

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