Remember back in 2014 when jobless claims first crossed below 300K and it was considered a major deal? These days, not so much. Not only is sub-300K expected, but sub-250K has now become the norm. In the latest week, first-time claims dropped by 2K down to 241K, which was pretty much right in line with consensus expectations for a reading of 240K. With this week’s print, jobless claims have been below 300K for 106 straight weeks and below 250K for seven. Things continue to look solid in the labor market.
Although weekly claims dropped slightly, the four-week moving average increased from 236.5K up to 237.25K, which is just 3K above the current cycle low of 234.25K from three weeks ago.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, jobless claims fell by 21.5K down to 222.5K. For the current week of the year, you have to go back to 1969 to find a lower reading. Additionally, since 2000, the average for the current week of the year is nearly 120K higher (340.5K).