Jobless claims for the last week continued to decline from the mini-spike we saw in the prior few weeks. While economists were expecting first-time claims to come in at a level of 275K, the actual reading came in at 268K. That’s the lowest reading in four weeks and represents a decline of 26K from the short-term high of 294K two weeks ago. It has also now been 64 straight weeks since claims last eclipsed 300K on a weekly basis.
Even with the declines of the last two weeks, because it was dropping such low numbers in the prior two weeks, the four-week moving average increased once again this week for the fourth straight weekly gain. At a level of 275.5K, the moving average is now 22.5K above its multi-decade low of 256K from 4/22. While that level is unlikely to be broken to the downside anytime soon, given we will be dropping some relatively large readings in the next couple of weeks, it should decline nonetheless.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, jobless claims edged lower by 4K down to 240.9K. For the current week of the year, this is the lowest level since 2000 and 85K below the average of the current week for every year since 2000.