Jobless claims fell from 267K down to 266K this week, which was slightly higher than expectations for 265K. While technically higher than expected, when the reported number is within 1K of the estimate, it’s close enough for government work. Over the last three weeks now, the weekly prints for jobless claims have been 266K, 267K, and 266K, so it looks as though jobless claims are following the lead of equities these days and doing nothing. With this week’s reading, jobless claims have now been below 300K for 75 straight weeks, which is the longest streak since 1970. To beat the 1970s streak, however, jobless claims will need to remain below 300K for another 86 weeks, so we hope you have some time!
Even though weekly claims declined slightly, we dropped another lower number from the count this week, so the four-week moving average increased from 259.75K up to 262.75K. It has now been 16 weeks since we last made a cycle low in the four-week moving average. We got close to a new low two weeks ago but came up just short.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, claims were 231.4k, which was up from 219.2K last week. This week’s reading is more than 8% below the average for the current week of the year dating back to 2000, and the lowest level for the current week of the year since 1969!