Jobless claims rose by 10K this week but still managed to come in slightly below consensus expectations (233K vs 235K). Claims have now been below 300K for 138 straight weeks, which is the longest such streak since the early 1970s. If Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria weren’t able to push claims above 300K, it’s hard to imagine what will.
With the recently low string of weekly prints, the four-week moving average continues to sink. Even with this week’s 10K increase, the four-week moving average declined to 239.5K from 248.5K. That now puts this metric within 4K of the multi-decade low of 235.5K we saw back in May. Looking ahead to next week, as long as claims don’t increase by more than 8K, we should see a new low in the four-week moving average.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, claims increased by 9.3K this week, but that is still well below typical levels for this time of year as the average reading for the current week of the year since 2000 is more than 110K higher at 325.75K. To find a week where claims were lower than this week’s print at this time of year, you have to go all the way back to 1973.