Jobless claims came in lower than expected this week with the seasonally adjusted headline reading rising by 1K to 218K compared to consensus forecasts of 220K. While it wasn’t a big ‘beat’ relative to expectations, let’s just put the string of recent low readings into perspective. This week was the 178th straight week of sub 300K claims (a record), the 43rd straight week at or below 250K (longest streak since 1970), and the fourth straight week of readings at or below 220K (longest streak since 1969).
This week’s low reading in claims brought the four-week moving average close to a new cycle low this week as well. At 214.5k, the average is now within just 1K of a new cycle low. However, in order to break that prior low from May, we would need to see a reading next week below 211K (assuming no revisions). It’s possible, but it will be tough.
Finally, the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) reading of claims also declined this week to its lowest level for the month of July on record. At 179.5K, it’s also over 117K below the average of 297K for the current week of the year dating back to 2000.