Earlier today when Disney CEO Bob Iger was told that Comcast was dropping out of the bidding war for 21st Century Fox assets, he reportedly responded with the phrase, “Holy Crap.” That’s also the reaction a lot of people watching this morning’s Initial Jobless Claims report responded with when seeing the print come across their screens. While economists were forecasting first time claims to come in at an already low level of 220K, the actual reading was 207K, which was the lowest level since December 1969! With this week’s report, jobless claims have been below 300K for a record 176 straight weeks, and they’ve been at or below 250K for 41 weeks.
Following this week’s decline, the four-week moving average picked up the pace to the downside falling from 223.25K down to 220.5K. That’s just 7K above the cycle low of 213.5K from early May, and if claims stay around current levels for the next two weeks, this reading could test those May lows.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, jobless claims were more than 180K below their average for the current week of the year dating back to 2000, and at a level of 231.3K, going back to 1967, they have never been lower for the current week of the year than they are now.