2016 ended with a 13% YoY decline in initial jobless claims. However, thanks to a late-year surge (which we are sure will be excused away with 'weather' of some sort), 2017 saw initial claims rise 6.5% YoY.

Initial claims rose 11k to 260k (against expectations of a decline to 245k)...

https://alternativeeconomics.co/res?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Finline-images%2F20180111_claims.png

However, continuing claims continue to fall, breaking down this week to the lowest level since 1973...

Continuing claims fell 35k to 1.867mm (beating expectations of 1.92mm)...

https://alternativeeconomics.co/res?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Finline-images%2F20180111_claims1.png

As good as it gets?