Although Jobless Claims declined this week, they did come in higher than expected, but the moves were slight at best.  While economists were looking for first-time claims to come in at 245K, the actual reading was a 3K decline from a revised reading of 250K.  Just to update some of the amazing streaks we have seen in these numbers, though, weekly claims have been at or below 250K for six straight weeks and below 300K for 123 straight weeks.  That’s over two years.

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Given the small weekly moves we have seen in recent weeks, the four-week moving average has also stalled out of late.  This week’s reading showed a slight increase to 245.75K.  That’s now just over 10K above the multi-decade low of 235.5K that we saw back in mid-May.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, claims rose by a seemingly large 31K.  While that sounds like a big increase, it is common for claims to rise at this time of year.  In fact, the current level is more than 140K below the average of 424.5K for the current week of the year dating back to 2000, and to find a week at this time of year with a lower reading, you have to go all the way back to 1969!

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