- Pantheon Macroeconomics
Initial jobless claims unexpectedly fell to 253,000, according to the Labor Department.
Economists were expecting claims to rise slightly to 270,000, according to Bloomberg.
The previous week’s data was revised down to 266,000.
The 4-week moving average was 265,000, a decrease of 1,500 from the previous week’s revised average.
The Labor Department noted that there were no special factors impacting initial claims.
Initial claims have been below 300,000 for 58 straight weeks now – the longest streak since 1973.
“We’d love to be able to argue convincingly that these data represent hard evidence of a further improvement in labor market conditions, but it’s more likely that Easter-related seasonal adjustment problems explain the drop,” wrote Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson after the data crossed.
“The seasonals struggle to cope with the shifting date of the holiday from year to year, and the numbers won’t be reliable again until early May. The trend in claims undoubtedly is very low, but it’s probably still in the low 270s, rather than the low 250s.”