Jobless claims came in higher than expected for the second straight week by staying unchanged from last week’s reading at 245K. Economists had been expecting a drop to 240K. Even if the print was higher than expected, claims notched their 147th straight week below 300K, which is impressive to say the least. If claims stay below 300K for another 15 weeks, this current streak will go down as the longest ever.
While the four-week moving average got close to making a new low two weeks ago, the last two weekly prints have put that low out of reach for now. As shown below, the average weekly reading over the last four weeks has been 237.75K, which is 6.5K above the cycle low of 231.25K from eight weeks ago.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, jobless claims remained incredibly low. This week’s reading of 321.9K was the lowest for the current week of the year since 1969 and more than 125K below the average of 450.2K for the current week of the year dating back to 2000.