Jobless Claims rose slightly this week, moving up to 269K from last week's reading of 266K. Economists had been expecting a level of 265K. While technically a weaker-than-expected report, what's a few thousand in a labor force the size of the US? With this week's reading, jobless claims have now been under 300K for 74 straight weeks, which is tied for the longest streak since 1973.
After getting within 1K of a new cycle low last week, the four-week moving average moved up to 260.25k from 256.5K last week. This week was our best chance to get down to a new cycle low, but now it's going to be tough to get back down to that level.
The big standout to this week's jobless claims report was the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) reading. At a level of 220.2K, this week's reading was 89K below the average reading for the current week dating back to 2000, and for the current week of the year, it was the lowest on record (going back to 1967). No matter how you look at it, jobless claims continue to show a solid foundation for employment.