Today’s initial jobless claims number of 340,000 beat expectations, and the rolling four-week number hit their best level in five years. That said, this is a seasonally adjusted number, which could face some headwinds in coming months.
A number that tells a truer story of the overall picture of the labor market is the non-seasonally adjusted number. In the chart below, take a look at the purple line, which shows rolling claims from September through February. You’ll see that the non-seasonally adjusted claims number is declining at an accelerating rate. It’s also reaching levels much lower than claims have hit in the past few years.