Initial jobless claims last week were 206,000. This is close to the bottom range for the past 18 months. As of this week, the four week average is 5.0% above its recent low:
and at 213,000, is 4,500, or -2.1%, lower than this week last year:
This remains positive.
Last July, initial claims averaged 215,250. Through the first three weeks, it is 210,000 this year, which is also positive:
Claims in the final week would have to be about 230,000 or higher for the entire month of July to be negative (higher) YoY.
Finally, let’s compare the YoY% change in initial claims (blue) with continuing claims (red):
Comparisons have been getting closer to crossing the threshold from lower to higher, but for the past two weeks have trended a little mobster. This. week the comparison was -2.9% YoY. A longer term view continues to show that - so far - this is most consistent with the 1984, 1994, and 1996 slowdowns, and not a recession: