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After an absolutely gangbusters initial jobless claims report last week, first-time claims saw a larger than expected increase this week.  While economists were expecting first time claims to come in at a level of 238K, the actual reading came in at 243K.  While 243K is still very low by historical standards, the 20K increase in claims this week was the largest weekly increase since December.  Even still, though, first time claims have been below 300K for 105 straight weeks now and under 250K for six straight weeks.

030917 Initial Claims SA

With a 20K increase in claims, the four-week moving average also ticked higher, rising from a multi-decade low of 234.25K last week to 236.5K this week.

030917 Initial Claims SA 4WK

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, claims rose by 31.1K to 243.9K.  For the current week of the year, though, this is the lowest level since 1973 and more than 115K below the average of 360.5K for the current week of the year dating back to 2000.

030917 Initial Claims NSA
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