Last Week In Review

Last Week in Review
“Workin’ nine to five. What a way to make a livin.'”sings Dolly Parton. And with last week’s Jobs Report showing that unemployment has reached three-year lows, that’s something more people have been able to do lately. Read on to learn more about what’s happening in the labor market…and with home loan rates.On Friday, the Labor Department reported that 200,000 jobs were created in December, with 212,000 private job gains offsetting modest losses in government jobs. Adding to the positive spin of the report was the Unemployment Rate falling to 8.5% from a previously reported and upwardly revised 8.7% reading.While people being removed from the labor force are skewing this unemployment number to some degree, it’s important to note that the U-6 unemployment rate dropped a few ticks as well, to 15.2%. This number includes ALL unemployed individuals, including those “marginally attached” to the labor force, who are either ‘discouraged’ and haven’t sought work recently, as well as those folks working part-time who really desire full-time jobs.Overall the Jobs Report was a modestly positive reading on the labor market. We still have 5.6 million people unemployed for 27 weeks or more, and that number is little changed this month. But the big takeaway today is that the trend is improving.The other big takeaway is that bad news out of Europe helped balance out the good Jobs news here at home…allowing Bonds and home loan rates to recover from their initial negative reaction to the Labor Department’s report. The Euro is continuing to be weighed down by rising concern on member countries’ ability to get their deficits in order and their debt in manageable position.The bottom line is that the problems in the Eurozone are vast, complicated, and without easy solutions…so it will take a very long time for clear resolution. And during times of global uncertainty, money will flow into the relative safe haven of the US Dollar and US Bonds – including Mortgage Bonds, which home loan rates are tied to. This means that home loan rates should continue in their sideways trend and remain near historic lows, making now a great time to purchase or refinance a home.


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