Jobless claims came in slightly higher than expected this week rising from last week’s level of 267K up to 277K. Economists had been expecting claims to come in at a level of 271K. In spite of the higher than expected reading, first-time claims have now been under 300K for 30 straight weeks.
The four-week moving average actually dropped by 1K this week, falling from 271.75K down to 270.75K. This puts the four-week moving average within 5% of its cycle low reached eight weeks ago in early August.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis (NSA), first-time claims dropped from 219.3K down to 215.5K. For the current week of the year, this is the lowest reading since 1973.
Although initial claims rose more than expected, continuing claims saw a relatively large decline, dropping by 53K. That was the largest weekly decline since the first week of July and puts continuing claims at its lowest level since November 2000!