After declining to their lowest levels of the recovery in early March, initial jobless claims have now risen in each of the last three weeks. In this week’s report, first-time claims rose to 276K versus expectations for 265K. While this is the highest weekly reading since the end of January, make no mistake, jobless claims are still low by historical standards and have now been below 300K for 56 straight weeks.
This week’s increase in claims brought the four-week moving average up to 263.25K, which is still within the cycle low of 259.5K hit two weeks ago on 3/11. Again, this indicator remains at or right near multi-year lows.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, claims increased by 4.9K to 235.8K. This is nearly 100K below the average of 333K for the current week of the year dating back to 2000, and it is also the lowest reading for the current week of the year since 1973.