Jobless claims for the last week came in lower than expected again as first-time claims rose to 260K compared to expectations of 265K. This is the third straight week that first-time claims have been 260K or lower. The last time that happened? November 1973. If this pace keeps up, we are going to have to re-adjust our y-axis.
With another low reading this week, the four-week moving average for jobless claims fell to 259.25K. This is also the lowest reading for the four-week moving average since December 1973.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, jobless claims increased by 12.5K to 245.2K. While the NSA reading was higher than last week, for the current week of the year it is typical to see NSA claims rise by closer to 20K. In fact, this week’s level was more than 100K below the average of 348K for the current week since 2000 and the lowest individual reading since 1973.