This week’s Jobless Claims report came in lower than expected as first-time claims dropped to 213K compared to expectations of 220K and last week’s reading of 219K. While 208K remains the lowest weekly print of the cycle, this week’s reading is only 5K above that, which is practically a rounding error when it comes to claims. Updating our weekly look at notable streaks for the headline seasonally-adjusted number, this week’s report is the record 179th straight week of sub 300K readings, the 44th straight week of readings at 250K or below (the longest streak since 1970), and the 5th straight week of readings at or below 220K (longest streak since 1969).
In spite of the lower than expected print, the four-week moving average for claims barely budged this week, falling from 214.5K down to 214.25K. For now, the cycle low of 213.5K remains intact, and with a reading of 208K scheduled to roll off next week, it’s unlikely we’ll see a new low next week.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, jobless claims rose from 179.9K up to 184.7K, but that’s still more than 100K below the average of 297.5K for the current week of the year dating back to 2000. In fact, going back to the beginning of the data series, there has never been a reading lower than this week’s NSA reading for the current week of the year.