The 6k initial claims drop to 213k
The 6k initial claims drop to 213k in the first week of August countered the 2k rise to 219k (was 218k) in the final week of July, leaving claims just 5k above the 48-year low of 208k in the July BLS survey week that likely benefited from a diminishing auto retooling pattern. The underlying downtrend in claims leaves new multi-decade lows within reach each week. Claims are entering August below the super-lean 215k average in July, as well as prior averages of 225k in June, 223k in May, and 221k in April. July's 208k BLS survey week reading undershot prior readings of 218k in June, 223k in May, and 233k in April, and was the lowest figure since a 202k reading in December of 1969. Continuing claims rose 29k to 1,755k in the final week of July, as that measure continues to fluctuate above the remarkably tight 1,701k cycle-low at the start of June. Analysts're seeing a summer stalling in continuing claims as often occurs with this series, following a big Q2 plunge that parallels typical spring declines. Analysts peg the August nonfarm payroll gain at 210k, which exceeds the 157k July rise, but is in line with the 215k average since January and 200k average for the last 12 months.