Jobless claims for the latest week came in slightly better than expected again. While economists were forecasting a slight increase in claims to 270K from 268K, the actual level declined to 267K. This is now the 65th straight week that claims have been below 300K. That’s the longest streak since 1973.
This week’s decline in jobless claims brought the four-week moving average down to 276.75K from 278.5K last week. While we haven’t seen much of a decline in the four-week moving average in recent weeks, as shown in the chart below, next week we will be dropping a weekly reading of 294K from the count, so we can expect to see this reading decline by a sizable margin.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, jobless claims increased by 5K to 245.8K from last week’s reading of 240.8K. While this is 15K above the reading for the same week last year, it is still over 80K below the average for the current week of the year dating back to 2000.