Jobless claims were expected to fall to 225K this week, but the decline was even larger as first-time claims fell to 215K. That marked an 18K decline from last week’s slight upwardly revised number of 233K and is the lowest level of claims since the final week of 2021.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, it was a very impressive week. Claims dropped to 194.7K, and after revisions, it is the first sub 200K print since March 2020. That also makes for the lowest level of the current week of the year on record. The 21.3K improvement from last week is also seasonally unusual. The current period of the year has historically marked a temporary low in the average reading on claims (second chart below). Additionally, the current week of the year has infrequently seen claims fall as they did this week. Throughout history, the ninth week of the year has been one of the most consistent periods in the first half of the year to experience week over week increases in claims. In fact, historically the current week of the year has seen claims rise WoW over 70% of the time and prior to this year, the last time the current week of the year saw a lower reading on claims was 2011.
Continuing claims were less impressive this week. While last week’s reading was revised down by 2K to 1474K, this week’s number was slightly higher at 1476K. That compares to estimates of further declines down to 1420K. Even though the most recent reading disappointed, the current level of claims is still well below the range of readings from the past several decades. Click here to view Bespoke’s premium membership options.