This morning's release of initial jobless claims for the latest week came in better than expected. While economists were looking for claims to come in at 346K, the actual reading came in at 334K. Although it was only the lowest reading since May 3, it was also the third-lowest reading since the financial crisis. While most economic indicators have been coming in weaker than expected in recent weeks, initial claims continue to be a bright spot.
With this week's increase, the four-week moving average also saw a nice decline, falling from 352.5K down to 345.3K. This reading is also low enough to qualify as the third-lowest weekly reading since the Financial Crisis.
Finally, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis (NSA), claims actually rose to 330.9K, representing an increase of 37.1K. While this may sound negative, for the current week of the year, claims have historically risen by an average of 42K. Furthermore, NSA claims are still well below their historical average of 374K for the current week.