Jobless claims for this week came in higher than expected, but the margin was as small as it could possibly be.  While economists were looking for claims to come in at a level of 240K, the actual reading came in at 241K.  There wasn’t much that really stuck out in this week’s report that was new relative to prior weeks, just that claims have now been below 300K for 120 straight weeks and below 250K for the third straight week.  We may have become numb to it with week after week of low readings, but it’s still pretty extraordinary. In terms of the recent trends in claims, current levels are right near the low end of their recent downtrend range.

The four-week moving average ticked up 1.5K this week, rising to 244.75K.  That’s now nearly 10K above the cycle low of 235.5K that we hit in mid-May.

On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, claims declined from 234.2K down to 228.5K.  For the current week of the year, that is the lowest since 1973 and nearly 110K below the average of 337.9K since 2000.

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