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Takeaway: Here's one reason today's initial jobless claims report points to a strengthening labor market.

This past week's non-seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims were lower year-on-year by -7.3%, which is roughly consistent with the rate of improvement over the previous two weeks (-8.9% and -8.0%).

This brought the four-week rolling average year-on-year change in non-seasonally adjusted claims to -5.8% as compared with -4.2% in the previous week. What this signals is that the real labor market is experiencing accelerating improvement, and this has been the case for the last five weeks.

Here's a chart that shows rolling non-seasonally adjusted claims for the past five years. Note the the decline so far in 2013.

Labor Market Strength - Jobless claims