After last week’s sharp decline in jobless claims, it was expected that claims would see an uptick this week. But we actually saw a smaller increase than most economists were expecting. In the latest week, jobless claims ticked up by 12K to 267K compared to expectations for an increase of 15K. The bottom line is that jobless claims continue to come in at extraordinarily low levels relative to history. Further, if you take population growth into account, you could even say claims are at absurdly low levels.
Even after this week’s increase, the four-week moving average still declined, falling from 278.5K down to 274.75K. With this decline, the four-week moving average is now within 10K of the post-recession low of 266.5K from mid-May.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis (NSA), jobless claims actually declined by 32.5K to 230.4K. This is nearly 100K below the average of 326.7K for the current week dating back to 2000. Even more impressive is the fact that going back to 1969 there have only been two other weeks where there was a lower weekly NSA reading during the month of July, and they occurred all the way back in 1968 and 1969!