Jobless claims saw only a slight decline last week falling from 216K down to 214K, which was just a tad above consensus expectations for a decline to 212K. While claims have increased 12K from their low print in mid-September, they have now been at or below 300K for a record 191 straight weeks, at or below 250K for 56 straight weeks, and at or below 225K for 17 straight weeks. They may have stopped falling, but they are still extremely low.
The four-week moving average also edged higher this week, rising from 212K up to 213.75K. That’s 6.75K above the cycle low of 206K from mid-September, and given recent trends, we wouldn’t expect this indicator to make a new low anytime soon.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, jobless claims dropped to 197.5K. For the current week of the year, this is the lowest weekly reading since 1969. It is also close to 125K below the average for the current week of the year dating back to 2000.