Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increase to 244,000, 4-Week Average Lowest Since 1973

by Bill McBride on 2/23/2017 08:38:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending February 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 244,000, an increase of 6,000 from
the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 1,000 from 239,000 to 238,000. The 4-week
moving average was 241,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this
average since July 21, 1973 when it was 239,500
. The previous week’s average was revised down by 250 from 245,250 to 245,000.
emphasis added

The previous week was revised down.

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 decreased to 241,000.

This was close to the consensus forecast.

The low level of claims suggests relatively few layoffs.