Jobless claims for the latest week came in higher than expected (339K vs. 330K) and a bit above last week's level of 331K. Since that one week spike in mid-December, claims have bounced around within a lower and narrower range of 23K over the last eight weeks.
With claims moving around within a narrow range, the four-week moving average really hasn't moved much either. This week's reading of 336.8K was the highest level in four weeks, but over that time period it is up by less than 5K. Longer-term, though, it has now been 20 weeks since the four-week moving average last made a new post-recession low.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, jobless claims rose by less than 4K to 358.9K. For the current week of the year, this represents the lowest level since 2006, and is well below the historical average of 418K going back to 2000.
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