New jobless claims declined 16,000 to 223,000 last week. This is still 35,000 higher than the low of 188,000 set on December 4; but on the other hand is remains among the lowest weekly figures for the past 50 years. The 4 week average declined 2,000 to 253,250, which is 53,500 above its 199,750 low set on December 25:
Continuing claims were unchanged at 1,621,000, 66,000 above their low of 1,555,000 set on January 1:
I suspect we have set the lows for this economic cycle. On the other hand, I don’t see any particular reason for jobless claims to rise out of their recent range below 250,000 anytime soon, pandemic permitting.
Programming note: I’ll report on the January consumer inflation number later this morning.