Jobless Claims for the latest week came in slightly lower than expected, dropping by 4K. While economists were expecting claims to come in at a level of 265K, the actual reading came in at 262K. Although it was pretty much an uneventful report, this week’s report marks the 76th straight week where claims have been below 300K. We haven’t seen that long of a sub-300K streak since 1970 when the US population was more than one-third smaller than it is now!
Although claims dropped, the four-week moving average ticked up slightly, rising from just under 263K to 265.25K. It has now been 17 weeks since we last made a new cycle low in this series, and it doesn’t look like we will be getting back down to that level anytime soon.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, jobless claims was just as, if not more impressive than the seasonally adjusted reading. As shown in the chart below, this week’s reading of 219.5K was 85K below the average level for the current week of the year, and the lowest level for the current week of the year since 1969.