Jobless claims this week came in slightly ahead of forecasts rising to 244K compared to consensus expectations of 240K. While the report was a bit weaker than expected, it was still the 10th straight week where claims were at or below 250K and the 127th straight week where claims have been below 300K. To find similar streaks, you have to go all the way back to 1973.
Although claims increased this week, the four-week moving average dropped from 242K down to 241K. That puts the reading within 6K of the multi-decade low of 235.5K from mid-May. That said, given the numbers that will be dropping off in the next couple of weeks, there is pretty much zero chance that we make a new low in the four-week moving average anytime soon.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, jobless claims increased from 198.8K up to 211.7K. For the current week of the year, however, that is nearly 100K below the average of 309.7K for the current week of the year dating back to 2000. In fact, in the history of the weekly jobless claims data going back to 1968, there has never been an NSA print for the current week of the year that was lower. That’s pretty solid!