Jobless claims for the latest week rose more than expected, hitting a level of 266K versus economists’ expectations of 262K. While this morning’s report was the highest weekly reading for the month of July, it is still low by historical standards and represents the 73 straight week that first-time claims were below 300K. That’s the longest streak of weekly readings with a ‘2’ handle since 1973.
While claims were up this week, the four-week moving average declined to 256.5K, which is less than 1K from its post-recession low of 256K 14 weeks ago in April. In order to get a new low in this reading, though, next week we will need to see claims drop below 252K; it’s possible but not likely.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, claims fell to 231.3K. That’s more than 100K below the average of 339K for the current week of the year since 2000. While this week’s NSA reading was low, it was actually slightly lower for the same week last year (230.3K), but that was the lowest weekly reading for the current week of the year since 1969.