Jobless claims came in slightly better than expected this week, falling from 245K down to 240K compared to expectations of 243K. It has now been nine weeks that claims have been at or below 250K, but more importantly, it was the 126th straight week that claims were under 300K. That hasn’t happened since 1970!
With this week’s decline, the four-week moving average dropped down to 241.75K, which is just over 6K more than the multi-decade low of 235.5K that was hit eleven weeks ago. While claims are close to a new low, don’t expect that level from mid-May to go down anytime soon.
The real headline in this week’s report was in the non-seasonally adjusted reading, where claims dropped below 200K! That’s a pretty amazing feat for any time of the year, but for the current week of the year, it’s more than 100K below the average of 302K going back to 2000. And guess when the last time claims were this low for the current week of the year? The answer to that question is NEVER! Or at least not since they have been tracking jobless claims going all the way back to 1968!