After a brief scare in early May where first-time claims spiked up to 294K, jobless claims have resumed their downward trend going five straight weeks without a weekly increase.  In this week’s report, economists were expecting first-time claims to come in at a level of 270K, but the actual reading came in at 264K.  That reading is still 16K above the multi-decade low of 248K from mid-April, but it’s down 30K from the recent high on 5/6.

060916 Initial Claims SA

With the 294K reading from five weeks ago dropping off the count, the four-week moving average dropped by 7.5K this week to 269.5K.  That represents a four-week low but is still 13.5K above the multi-decade low of 256K from seven weeks ago.

060916 Initial Claims SA 4 WK

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis (NSA), jobless claims dropped to 232.5K from 247.1K.  That’s more than 100K below the average for the current week of the year dating back to 2000 and the lowest level of NSA claims for the current week of the year since 1974!

060916 Initial Claims NSA

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