Jobless claims came in higher than expected this week, rising by 12K from 282K to 294K. Economists were forecasting a reading of 280K. Although the report was weaker than expected, claims remained below the psychologically important level of 300K for the sixth straight week.
In spite of the increase in jobless claims, the four-week moving average was practically unchanged, rising from last week’s post-recession low of 282.5 up to 282.75K. In order to get back below last week’s post-recession low, we are going to need to see next week’s reading fall below 283K.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, claims rose by 54K to 307.5K from last week’s reading of 253.5K. While this increase was large at face value, it is not uncommon for NSA claims to rise at this time of year. In fact, this week’s reading is more than 70K below the average NSA weekly level for the current week of the year dating back to 2000, and the lowest reading for this particular week since 2000.