With the release coming one day earlier than normal due to the Christmas Holiday, jobless claims provided some holiday cheer with a better than expected print. While economists were expecting claims to come in at a level of 290K, the actual level came in 10K better than expected at 280K.
With this week's decline in claims, the four-week moving average dropped by 8.5K down to 290.25K. This is the lowest level since 11/14, but still a little more than 11K above the expansion low of 279K that we saw on 10/31/14. It is also the 15th straight week where the 4-week moving average was below 300K.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, claims rose by 12.3K to 340.1K. For this time of year, though, that reading is extraordinarily low as it is the lowest for the current week of the year dating back to 2000, and more than 100K below the historical average of 463.8K.