Initial jobless claims plunged to 289,000 from a revised 303,000 prior.
Consensus estimate was for a reading of 304,000.
The four-week moving average of 293,500 is an eight-year low. And the non-sesasonally adjusted level of 247,100 is a 25-year low.
Continuing claims came in at 2,518,000, slightly above expectations for 2,512,000 but down from a revised 2,542,000 prior.
Pantheon Macro’s Ian Shepherdson says the data bode extremely well for payrolls going forward.
“The Labour Dept sees no special factors but the seasonals look quite generous this week so we expect a rebound next week,” he writes in a new note. “That said, the data serve to reinforce the key point here, which is that the underlying trend in claims is declining steadily, and is now approaching the 300K mark. Claims have not been sustained below that level with a downward trend since early 2006. With indicators of hiring looking strong too – though seasonals are likely boosting the ISM employment numbers – we see every chance of very strong payroll numbers, around 250K, becoming the norm through the rest of this year.”
Here’s the new chart:
And here are claims as a per cent of the population:
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