Initial jobless claims are at a 15-year low

Initial jobless claims are at a 15-year low.

On Thursday, the weekly report on initial jobless claims showed claims totaled 274,000 last week, right in-line with expectations for 270,000.

The 4-week moving average of claims fell 1,750 from the prior week to 266,250, the lowest since April 15, 2000.

Jobless claims — which track new and continuing unemployment insurance filings — have been one of the strongest labour market indicators for most of the last year.

At the same time that claims are released, we also got the latest report on retail sales, which grew in-line with expectations.

In a note to clients following the report, Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macro wrote, “The very low level of claims — near all-time lows, when adjusted for population growth — is consistent with companies’ complaints that they can’t find qualified staff.”

Here’s the chart from Shepherdson, which shows a trend of claims is “extremely low and stable.”

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