After trending slightly higher for the last few weeks, jobless claims absolutely cratered this week, falling to their lowest levels in over forty years! While economists were expecting first-time claims to see a slight decline by just 3k down to 278k, the actual reading came in at 255K. This was the largest weekly drop since April and the lowest weekly reading since November 1973. That’s right. Most people reading this weren’t even alive the last time claims were this low, and if they were, they were probably too young to remember.
This week’s decline helped to push the four-week average for claims from 282.5K down to 278.5K. In spite of the decline, the four-week moving average is still 12K above its post-recession low of 266.5K from ten weeks ago.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis (NSA), jobless claims dropped by 81.4K from 344.4K down to 263K. For the current week of the year, this is well below the average of 390.65K going back to 2000. Like the seasonally adjusted reading, NSA claims for the current week of the year were also the lowest since 1973.