Jobless claims came in slightly ahead of expectations this week, rising from 223K up to 230K (compared to expectations for a rise to 228K). Essentially, the report was inline with expectations, and jobless claims remain extraordinarily low by just about any historical precedent. It has now been 154 straight weeks since claims last printed above 300K. Another seven weeks of sub-300K claims, and the current streak will go down as the longest such streak in the history of the report (dating back to the mid-1960s).
After hitting a multi-decade low last week, the four-week moving average for claims increased by 4K to 228.5K. Prior to last week, that would have been the low for the cycle. Looking ahead to next week, in order to see a move back down to last week’s low, we’ll need to see a weekly print well below 220K.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, jobless claims continue to impress as well. This week’s print of 233K was more than 140K below the average for the current week of the year dating back to 2000. On top of that, there has never been an NSA reading for the current week of the year that was lower than this week’s print. Never is a long time!