Initial jobless claims unexpectedly fell.
Claims dropped to 253,000, compared to economists’ expectations of an increase to 265,000, according to the Bloomberg consensus.
Claims have not risen above 300,000 for 72 straight weeks as of last Thursday – the longest stretch in 43 years.
The four-week moving average was 257,750, a dip of 1,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 259,000. The report noted no special factors.
“The claims data are often volatile around this time of year because of issues with the seasonal adjustment process, but the figures that we see for this year so far have been pretty steady and send an upbeat message about conditions in the labor market,” wrote JPMorgan’s Daniel Silver after the data crossed.
“Comparing the reference periods for the June and July employment reports (the weeks ending June 18 and July 16, respectively), there were declines in both the level of initial claims (-5,000) and the related four-week average (-9,000),” he added.