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Unemployment claims looking a bit better

Seasonally adjusted unemployment claims (top chart) last week fell to a new 4-wk. moving average low for the year. Actual claims (second chart) have been flat since late April. In a typical year, actual claims would have been rising at this time of the year, but that is not happening, so adjusted claims are falling. Either way you look at it, the labor market is doing better on the margin, and that is good, even though progress is slow.

Meanwhile, the total number of people receiving unemployment benefits—about 7,750,000—has not changed much in recent weeks, and remains quite elevated.

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