While recent residential housing data has been showing some cracks, the employment picture continues to look robust. This week’s latest read on initial jobless claims provides the latest example. Although the report came in slightly higher than expected (217K vs 215K), by just about any measure it’s an extraordinarily low reading. As we update readers every week, this week’s reading marks the 42nd straight week where claims have been at or below 250K and the record 177th straight week where claims have been under 300K.
With another sub 220K reading, the four-week moving average also started to move meaningfully lower this week, falling from 220.75K down to 218K. This reading is now within 5K of its multi-decade low of 213.5K from early May, and if next week’s reading comes in below 214K, we’ll see a new low.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, jobless claims fell from 232.2K down to 201.3K. For the current week of the year, this is the lowest reading on record, and going back to 2000, it is more than 134K below the average for the current week.