The US labour market just got some unexpectedly great news.
Initial jobless claims fell sharply last week to 265,000, the lowest level for initial jobless claims since April 15, 2000, according to the Department of Labour. This is also the largest week-over-week decline since April 2009.
Expectations were for claims to come in at 300,000, down slightly from last week’s 307,000 number. Last week’s number was revised up slightly to 308,000.
The DoL said that last week’s number was no impacted by any special factors.
On Twitter, Bespoke Investment Group noted that in the last 40 years, there has been only one week in which claims were lower than they were last week.
With Thursday’s report, the four-week moving average of initial claims moved back below 300,000 to 298,500.
In a note on Thursday following the report, Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macro said, “the seasonal distortions continue, this time in the other direction.” Over the last couple weeks, with claims above 300,000, Shepherdson had written that those numbers were not indicative of the trend in claims.
Via Pantheon, here’s the chart of last week’s huge drop in claims.