This week’s report on jobless claims was slightly higher than expected coming in at a level of 216K versus estimates for 214K, but what has been pretty remarkable is how consistent claims have been over the last four weeks. On 10/19, claims came in at 216K, the next week they were 215K, the week after they fell another 1K to 214K, and now this week they are back at 216K. It’s also important to keep in mind that even though claims were higher than expected, they remain low on a historical basis with a record 193 straight weeks at or below 300K, 58 straight weeks at or below 250K, and 19 straight weeks at or below 225K.
With claims barely budging over the last month, the four-week moving average came in right at 215.25K, which is 9.25K above the cycle low of 206K we saw back in mid-September.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, jobless claims came in at 230.6K. While this is more than 120K below the average of 353.4K for the current week of the year dating back to 2000, in this same week two years ago, claims were actually lower.