Last week's initial jobless claims numbers were tepid due in some part to the holiday season (Easter, Passover, etc.). But what a difference a week can make; today's report showed that claims fell by 42,000 week-over-week. The lower the number, the better.
"The time shifting of Easter has historically been a notable challenge for the seasonality department at the Department of Labor," Hedgeye Financials Sector Head Josh Steiner noted. "Looking at the latest two weeks of data, we saw claims spike by 28k two weeks ago and then drop by 39k last week (these are both comparisons vs. the unrevised prior number). On the margin, claims were better by 11k over two weeks."
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, the data is clearly improving. This week, we saw a decline of -9.3% on a year-over-year basis, beating the consensus expectation and bringing relief to those who had become worried after last week's slew of abysmal labor market data. Overall, the labor market is steadily improving and the charts we've included below show the change that's occurred over time.