Jobless claims came in a bit higher than expected this week rising from 234K up to 244K compared to expectations for an increase to 240K.  Even with the increase though, claims came in at or below 250K for the eighth straight week and below 300K for the 125th straight week. As shown in the chart below, the trend for claims remains lower with a series of lower highs.

With this week’s increase, the four-week moving average remains unchanged at 244K as well.  If claims are going to make a run for the record of 235.5K from back in May, we will need to see some low prints in the next two weeks as we will be dropping higher readings from the count.

The most impressive aspect of the weekly claims report this week was the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) reading.  On an NSA basis, jobless claims came in at just 219.8K, which is once again more than 100K below the average for the current week of the year dating back to 2000.  In fact, to find a year where the current week of July had a lower reading, you have to go all the way back to 1968.

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