Despite the bad news on the labor front last week in the Non Farm Payrolls report, this week’s read on jobless claims came in better than expected. While economists were forecasting first-time claims to show just a modest decline of 2K from last week’s reading of 276K, the actual reading came in 11K lower at 263K. That’s the third lowest weekly reading of the entire cycle.
With this week’s low print, we also saw a drop in the four-week moving average which fell by 3K to 267.5K. That’s only 1.5K above the post-recession low of 266K that we saw in early August.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, initial jobless claims rose to 227.7K. While that is up 12.6K from last week, NSA claims typically rise heading into October. In fact, for the current week of the year NSA claims are more than 100K below their average of 328K for the current week of the year dating back to 2000.