Same old, same old from the BLS: with initial claims expected to print at 350K, we get a number that is just better, or 348K - supposedly the best since February 2008, however one which will be revised to about 351K next week, hence a miss, in line with the perpetual +3K upward statistical bias each and every week demonstrated by the BLS, which is no longer even funny. To be sure, last week's 351K was just raised to 353K, just so that headlines can announce a 5K drop in claims week over week. Continuing claims printed at 3.352MM, down from an upward revised 3.361MM. And yes, initial claims are lowest since February 2008... Until one adds the continuing claims, EUCs and Extended Claims as seen in the chart below. The 99 week cliff saw a total of 18K drop from total rolls: these are now 1MM lower compared to a year ago.
Combined initial, continuing, EUC and Extended Claims. Not the lowest since February 2008.