Jobless Claims came in higher than expected this week (248K vs 244K), continuing the recent trend of a slow drift higher. The key word here is slow, as even though claims have risen for three straight weeks, they are only up by 10K during that span and remain below the longer term downtrend. Weekly claims still remain very low by historical standards as they have been below 250K for five straight weeks and nine of the last ten. On a longer-term time frame, claims have now been below 300K for 122 straight weeks.
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The four-week moving average increased by less than 1K this week to 243K. That’s still within 8K of the multi-decade low of 235.5K that was hit seven weeks ago in mid-May.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, first-time claims came in at 250.4K. That’s up over 10K from last week but is typical for this time of year. For the current week of the year, NSA claims are more than 100K below their average of 357K and haven’t been this low at this time of the year since 1973.