We have another piece of good news for the economy today as the Department of Labor reported that jobless claims dropped to the lowest level in four and a half years last week. There were 30,000 less applications for unemployment filed last week which brings the four week moving average to 364,000. Although analysts are claiming the data to be misleading as one large state was left out of the claims data, however, the jobs market is still showing signs of improvement.
Last week the unemployment rate decreased to 7.8% which was the first time the jobless rate has been below 8% in almost four years. Hiring has picked up in the third quarter adding 146,000 jobs per month which is double the monthly pace from the second quarter. If we stay on track and add 100,000+ jobs per month in the fourth quarter, our economy will continue to see improvement.
The housing market continues to see improvement as foreclosure activity in September was at the lowest level in five years. According to Realty Trac, one in every 730 housing units faces foreclosure, which is down 7% from Augusts report. Home affordability is high as mortgage rates remain low and home prices are affordable. Analysts are expecting mortgage rates to remain relatively unchanged until the November election.
Senior Loan Officer
1st Advantage Mortgage, a Draper and Kramer company