Initial jobless claims for the latest week came in modestly higher than expected today. While economists were looking for in increase to 355K, the actual level came in at 362K. Yes, the level was higher than expected, but the spread was small to say the least.
This week's increase in claims brought the four-week moving average up to a level of 360.8K, which is nearly 10K above the post-recession low we saw in this indicator two weeks ago. Next week the four-week moving average will drop 371K from the four-week count, so barring another increase in the weekly number, we should see the four-week moving average decrease.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, claims dropped by nearly 15K. This is the lowest level for the current week since 2008, but it was only a modest decrease from last week's level.