Jobless claims were released earlier this morning and showed a larger-than-expected decline, falling from 234K down to 229K. Less than two months after three hurricanes ravaged different parts of the United States, jobless claims had their third-lowest weekly print of the current expansion. The even more amazing aspect of the recent trends in jobless claims is that the lowest print of the cycle came two weeks ago! As things stand now, jobless claims have now been below 300K for 139 straight weeks.
With such low prints in recent weeks, the four-week moving average for jobless claims fell to 232.5K, marking a new low for the current cycle. Not since 1973 has the four-week moving average been lower!
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, jobless claims were pretty much unchanged at 215.8K from last week's level of 215.7K. For the current week of the year, jobless claims are well more than 100K lower than their average for the current week of the year dating back to 2000, and haven't been this low at this time of year since 1973.