The latest update of jobless claims was broadly positive, with both initial and continuing claims moving lower by more than expected. Although initial claims were revised up by 1K to 229K last week, this week’s reading fell down to 216K. That means claims have broken down out of the past several months range, notching the lowest levels since the end of January.
Before seasonal adjustment, claims are even more impressively low at 190K. That marks the third week in a row below 200K, however, that is still above the comparable readings for the same weeks of the year in 2018, 2019, and 2022. Additionally, as we show in the second chart below, the current week of the year has historically been the one to see claims put in their annual low meaning from a seasonal perspective, claims will face headwinds from here on out.
Switching over to seasonally-adjusted continuing claims, like initial claims, the latest reading is back down to the low end of the recent range. Claims have been fluctuating around 1.7 million over the past couple of months, but at 1.679 million this week, continuing claims are tied with the week of July 15th for the lowest reading since January 21st.
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