After what could only be classified as a disappointing report last Thursday, this week’s read on initial jobless claims declined, but by less than expected. While economists were expecting a reading of 275K, the actual reading was slightly higher at 278K. Despite the weaker than expected reading, claims continue to remain below 300K, which is a level that hasn’t been breached to the upside in 63 weeks now. Had claims actually edged higher and exceeded 300K, it would have raised serious concerns regarding the overall health of the jobs market.
While the weekly reading declined, this week’s reading on the four-week moving average increased by another 7.5K to 275.75K, which is up nearly 20K from the multi-decade low reading of 256K from 4/22/16.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis (NSA), claims dropped by 17.1K to 244.8K. That is actually up slightly from last year’s equivalent week, but well below the average of 326.9K for the current week since 2000.