Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease to 268,000

The DOL reported:

In the week ending May 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 268,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 278,000. The 4-week moving average was 278,500, an increase of 2,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 275,750.

There were no special factors impacting this week’s initial claims. This marks 64 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1973.

The previous week was unrevised.

The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since 1971.

Click on graph for larger image.

The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims increased to 278,500.

This was below the consensus forecast. The low level of claims suggests relatively few layoffs.

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