After two weeks of higher than expected readings, initial jobless claims rose less than expected this week, falling back into the 230K range. While economists were forecasting a level of 245K, the actual reading came in at 237K. With the latest decline, claims are now falling back towards the lower end of their recent range.
Even though this week’s print was a decline from last week, the four-week moving average actually increased by 1K to 243K. That’s 7.5K above the cycle low of 235.5K back in mid-May, but with a low reading of 235K being dropped from the four-week count next week, don’t count on the four-week average dropping much next week.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis (NSA), claims increased from 212.3K up to 233.6K. That’s the lowest reading for the current week of the year since 1973 and more than 115K below the average of 349K for the current week of the year dating back to 2000.