After three straight weekly increases in jobless claims, this week saw a larger than expected decline.  While economists were forecasting claims to come in at a level of 270K relative to last week’s reading of 276K, the actual level came in at 267K.  Certainly not a major move by any stretch, but we would note that this is now the 57th straight week of sub-300K readings in jobless claims.

040716 Initial Claims SA

Although claims actually declined this week, the four-week moving average saw a slight uptick, rising from 263.25K to 266.75K.  This is now 7.25K above the cycle low of 259.5K that we hit four weeks ago on 3/11.  Given that we will be dropping a reading of 259K from the count next week, barring a good decline in claims next week we can expect this reading to increase again.

040716 Initial Claims SA 4 WK

Finally, on a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, jobless claims rose by 10.3K up to 246K.  For the current week of the year, this is the lowest reading since 2000, and it is also 98K below the average of 344K for the current week of the year going back to 2000.

040716 Initial Claims NSA

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