Jobless claims for the latest week rose by just 1K, which was slightly better than expected. Economists were originally only expecting claims to rise by 2K to 292K, so the reading of 291K was slightly better than expected.
Although claims were only up slightly from last week, the four-week moving average increased by a little over 2K due to the fact that we dropped a reading of 282K off the count. As shown in the chart below, next week we will be dropping a level of 313K from the four-week moving average, so we should see a decline. That being said, we need to see much lower weekly claims reading if we are ever going to get back to the post-recession low of 279K back in late October. The last time we even saw one week of claims below 279K was in late January.
The strongest aspect of this week’s jobless claims report was the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) reading. In the latest week, NSA claims fell by 18.2K down to 259.7K. For the current week of the year, this was the lowest reading since 2000 and more than 80K below the average of 341K for the current week dating back to 2000.