After last week's initial jobless claims drop - which nevertheless held the 4-wk average above 300k - this week saw the number drop once more. Against expectations of 290k, claims printed 282k, leaving the 4-week average at 297k, conveniently below the 300k mark. Continuing claims continues to flatline at an elevated level. This means that since the end of QE3, initial jobless claims are unchanged as the trend of improvement has clearly stalled.
Trend change... in initial claims
And continuing claims...