Jobless claims dropped to their lowest level since April 2000 this week, continuing what has been an impressive run of sub 300K readings in the face of other economic data that has been weak. While economists were forecasting weekly claims to come in at a level of 290K, the actual reading came in 28K lower at 262K.
With this week’s big drop in weekly claims, the four-week moving average fell to 283.75K, which is actually still 1.25K above the post-recession low of 282.5K from earlier this month. Next week, we will be dropping a reading of 282K from the count, so anything below 275K will likely push the four-week moving average to a new post-recession low.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis (NSA), jobless claims fell by 29K to 250.8K. For the current week of the year, this is the lowest reading since 2000 and about 92K below the average of 342.4K for the current week.