It happened again this week.  We know we say it a lot, but it seems that when all else fails, jobless claims provide a port in the storm.  This week, first-time claims dropped to 232K from 236K last week and below consensus estimates of 240K.  This was the second lowest weekly print of the economic expansion and the 115th straight week where claims were below 300K.

051817 Initial Claims SA

With this week’s decline in weekly claims, the four-week moving average dropped to 240.75K from 243.5K.  That’s just 1K above the multi-decade low of 239.75K from early March, and barring a major spike higher (above 250K), next week’s level will be a new low.

051817 Initial Claims SA 4WK

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, jobless claims dropped down to 206.5K from 215.2K last week.  For the current week of the year, this is the lowest print since 1973, and it is more than 100K below the average for the current week of the year dating back to 2000 (318.5K).

051817 Initial Claims NSA

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