Jobless claims for the last week rose more than expected, rising from 270K up to 282K compared to expectations for a jump to 275K. This week’s increase in claims represents the fifth time in the last six weeks that claims have increased. At face value, jobless claims have been moving in the wrong direction over the last six weeks, but over that time period total claims are only up by 27K, so it hasn’t been a sharp increase by any means. On top of that, claims are still at the exact same level they were at two months ago and still low by historical standards.
With this week’s increase, the four-week moving average also ticked higher, rising by 3.25K to 275.5K. This week’s level is just under 10K above the post-recession and multi-decade low of 266K that we saw on 8/7, but right inline with levels we saw towards the end of August. That being said, the four-week moving average is likely to continue drifting higher in the coming weeks as some lower weekly readings will be dropping from the four-week count.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis (NSA), jobless claims continue to hum along. In this week’s report, NSA claims were at 230.5K, which is over 70K below the average of 301.6K for the current week of the year going back to 2000. The last time we saw NSA claims this low at this time of year was back in 1999.