Initial jobless claims fell 2,000 in the May 6 week to a lower-than-expected 236,000. The 4-week average is up slightly to 243,500 but still down roughly 5,000 to 10,000 from early April and late March.
Confirming the positive signal from initial claims are continuing claims which, in data that lag by a week, are down a very sizable 61,000 in the April 29 week to 1.918 million. This is a 29-year low for this reading. The 4-week average is down 27,000 to 1.966 million which is a 43-year low. The unemployment rate for insured workers is steady at a very low 1.4 percent (excludes job leavers and reentrants).
The labor market has been the economy's leading strength this year and today's report points to more of the same ahead as employers stick with their employees. There are no special factors in today's report.