Initial claims fall unexpectedly


Initial jobless claims came in lower than expected at 259,000.

Economists expected the number of people claiming unemployment insurance to rise to 265,000 after coming in at 263,000 last week.

This is the fourth week in a row that claims have beat expectations.

Initial claims have been under 300,000 for 79 straight weeks, the longest streak since 1970.

“This is the lowest level of initial jobless claims since the week of July 16th,” said Jefferies economist Ward McCarthy follsing the release. “For the past 7 weeks, claims have printed in an unusually narrow range of 259K to 267K.”

Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan, was similarly enthused by the release.

“The trend in the data looks pretty good, even though it is not as upbeat as some of the figures reported early in July,” said Silver.

The four-week moving average for claims now sits at 261,250, down from last weeks’ 263,000.