Granted, it was a holiday shortened week, so the numbers could ultimately be revised, and skeptics will dismiss the figures as an anomaly due to the July 4th holiday. That being said, today's jobless claims numbers were very good. On a seasonally adjusted basis, initial jobless claims fell from 376K down to 350K. This is the lowest weekly reading since march 2008!
With the largest single weekly decline in jobless claims since January, the four week moving average of jobless claims fell by 10K to 376.5K. That is the lowest weekly reading since late May.
Skeptics of this week's jobless claims number are pointing to the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) level of jobless claims, which rose from 370K up to 440K and saying that this is a more accurate representation of jobless claims. Well, if you want to take that view, you have to make it an apples to apples comparison and look at prior levels of jobless claims at this time of year.
Taking that approach, the most recent week's level of NSA claims was the lowest reading for the July 4th week since 2007, and well below the average of 481K for the July 4th week going back to 2000. In fact, since 2000 there have only been three other years where the level of NSA claims during July 4th week was lower (2005, 2006, 2007).
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