Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, this week’s release of Initial Jobless Claims was moved up a day, but even though the day of the report was different, the positive trend remains the same. While economists were forecasting claims to come in at a level of 240K from last week’s reading of 252K, the actual reading came in at 239K. This marks the 142nd straight week of sub-300K claims.
Although claims dropped on the week, we’re still dropping off some very low readings from the four-week count, so that’s causing the four-week moving average to tick higher. This week it moved up to 239.75K, which is 8.5K above the multi-decade low of 231.25K that we saw to kick off November.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis (NSA), claims remain impressive. While this week’s reading increased by over 37K, it’s common for NSA claims to increase at this time of year. Going back to 2000, this week’s print is still the lowest for this time of year since 1973 and 100K below the average of 374K going back to 2000.