Weekly jobless claims came in slightly lower than expected this week, erasing much of last week’s 13K increase. While economists were forecasting claims to come in at a level of 275K, the actual reading came in even better at 271K. This marks the 41st straight week that claims have been below 300K. Any concerns arising from last week’s unexpected increase should be put to rest after this week’s decline.
The four-week moving average for claims fell slightly to 270.5K, which is 11K above the post-recession low of 259.25K from eight weeks ago on 10/23.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, claims were really impressive. In this week’s report, NSA claims dropped by 71.9K to 312.6K. While it is typical for NSA claims to drop during the most recent week, this week’s level is more than 115K below the average of 427.8K going back to 2000 and the lowest reading for the current week of the year since 1969!