Federal Jobs Report Shows Robust Job Growth April 2013The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) issued its Job Openings and Labor Turnover report for February on Tuesday, April 9th, 2013..

The data was mixed with preliminary figures for all non-farm jobs increasing from 3.62 million jobs in January to 3.93 million jobs in February.

This was the highest month-to- month increase in jobs since May 2008.

Non-farm jobs increased by 399,000 jobs from 3.53 million in February 2012 to 3.93 million jobs in February 2013, an increase of 10.2 percent year-over-year.

More Jobs Means More Opportunities For Home Ownership

More jobs generally means higher incomes and stability which enable more families to buy homes and qualify for mortgage loans.

Hires between January and February 2013 rose from 4.30 million to 4.43 million hires, an increase of 2.70 percent.

Hires between February 2012 and February 2013 fell from 44.9 million to 44.2 million, a decrease of 1.6 percent.

Total non-farm job separations changed little month to month, and remained exactly the same year-over-year at 4.20 million separations.

Numbers of hires and separations surpass job numbers due to workers being hired on and/or separated from more than one job during the reporting period.

Regional Non-Farm Employment Shows Job Growth

  • Northeast: Non-farm jobs fell from 688,000 jobs in January 2013 to 647,000 jobs in February 2013, but increased year-over-year from 589,000 jobs to 647,000 jobs.
  • South:  Non-farm Jobs fell from 1.56 million jobs in January 2013 to 1.50 million jobs in February 2013. Jobs increased year-over-year from 1.34 million jobs in February 2012 to 1.47 million jobs in February 2013.
  • Midwest: Non-farm jobs grew from 712,000 in January 2013 to 780,000 jobs in February 2013 and increased from 740,000 jobs to 780,000 from February 2012 to February 2013.
  • West: Non-farm jobs increased from 806,000 to 830,000 between January and February 2013; on a year-over-year basis, jobs showed noteworthy growth from 650,000 jobs to 830,000 jobs between February 2012 and February 2013.

It’s A Great Time To Buy Or Refinance A Home

Improving labor data indicates that the economy is on the mend, but this could cause mortgage rates and home prices to rise as the economy expands.

A gradual economic recovery suggests that home buyers and others seeking lower mortgage rates and refinancing can still find favorable mortgage terms.

But it would likely be best to take advantage of the still historic home purchase and financing opportunities that are available today.

Contact your trusted, licensed real estate or mortgage professional today to learn how the growing economy can benefit your family as well.

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Non-Farm PayrollsAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and its November 2012 Non-Farm Payrolls report, the U.S. economy added 146,000 net new jobs last month.

November’s job growth exceeded Wall Street expectations of 90,000 jobs added for the month, and was a small increase from October’s 138,000 jobs added.

Three job sectors in which employment rose in November include :

  • Retail : 58,000 jobs added
  • Business and Professional Services : 43,000 jobs added
  • Healthcare : 20,000 jobs added

It appears that the effects of Hurricane Sandy were muted, although they may be temporarily overshadowed by seasonal factors.

After losing more than 7 million jobs in 2008 and 2009, the U.S. economy has since recovered more than 4.6 million jobs. Job growth has reached 26 consecutive months and is expected to remain consistent through 2013.

In addition, the BLS report showed the national unemployment rate dropping 0.2 percentage points in November to 7.7 percent. This is the lowest Unemployment Rate since January 2009.

Growing employment is a strong indicator of economic expansion, which traditionally leads to rising mortgage rates.

When mortgage people work, more income is earned and more taxes are paid. This often leads to higher levels of both consumer spending and government spending, both of which spur additional hiring and economic expansion.

When the economy is in expansion, equity markets often gain and bond markets often lose. When bond markets are in retreat, mortgage rates in Midlothian rise. This relationship takes on added importance this week with the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) scheduled to adjourn.

The Non-Farm Payrolls Report is a top economic indicator and is a key part of economic and policy decision made Capitol Hill and within the Federal Reserve. As one example, recent Federal Reserve stimulus has been specifically aimed at lowering the national Unemployment Rate. As the economy improves and as jobs are regained, the Fed may be less likely to support low rates.

If you’re floating a mortgage rate, consider locking in. Rates can’t stay low forever.

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Unemployment RateFriday morning, the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its Non-Farm Payrolls report, more commonly called the “jobs report”.

Depending on how the jobs data reads, FHA and conforming mortgage rates may rise, or fall. This is because today’s mortgage market is closely tied to the U.S. economy, and the U.S. economy is closely tied to job growth.

Economists expect that employers have added 125,000 net new jobs to their payrolls in October 2012, up from September’s tally of 114,000 net new jobs. Jobs have been added to the economy over 24 consecutive months leading into Friday’s release, and approximately 4.7 million jobs have been created in the private sector since early-2010.

So, what does this mean for home buyers and refinancing households throughout Richmond ? It means that mortgage rates may get volatile beginning tomorrow morning.

Improving jobs numbers tend to push mortgage rates up, as it signals to investors that the U.S. economy is strengthening. If the actual jobs reports shows more than 125,000 net new jobs created, therefore, look for mortgage rates to rise.

Conversely, a weaker-than-expected report injects fear into the market, causing investors to purchase safer assets including U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed bonds. This moves mortgage rates lower.

Markets will also watch for the monthly Unemployment Rate. After falling to a 4-year low of 7.8 percent in September, economists anticipate that October’s unemployment rate will rise 0.1 percentage point to 7.9%.  

The good news for rate shoppers is that mortgage rates remain low. Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey puts the 30-year fixed rate mortgage below 3.50% nationwide for borrowers willing to pay 0.7 discount points. Furthermore, a forecast from the Mortgage Bankers Association predicts that the 30-year fixed rate will remain below 4% for at least the next 8 months and low mortgage rates help to keep home payments low.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the jobs report at 8:30 AM ET Friday.

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Non-Farm Payrolls 2000-2012

Been shopping for a mortgage rate? You may want to lock something down. Tomorrow morning, mortgage rates are expected to change. Unfortunately, we don’t know in which direction they’ll move. 

It’s a risky time for Virginia home buyers to be without a locked mortgage rate.

The action begins at 8:30 A.M. ET Friday. This is when the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its April Non-Farm Payrolls report.

The monthly Non-Farm Payrolls report is more commonly known as “the jobs report” and provides a sector-by-sector breakdown of the U.S. employment situation, including changes in the Unemployment Rate.

In March 2012, the government reported 120,000 net new jobs created — half the number created during the month prior, and the third straight month of declining job creation. The Unemployment Rate fell one-tenth of one percent to 8.2%.

For April, economists expect to see 160,000 net new jobs created, and no change in the national Unemployment Rate.

Based on the accuracy of those predictions, mortgage rates in Richmond are subject to change. If the actual number of jobs created in April exceeds economist expectations, mortgage rates should rise. Conversely, if the actual number of jobs created falls short, mortgage rates should drop.

Job growth’s link to mortgage rates is straight-forward. Jobs are an economic growth engine and mortgage rates are based economic expectation. Therefore, as the number of people entering the U.S. workforce increases, so do Wall Street’s growth projections for the economy. When that happens — especially in a recovering economy such as this one — mortgage rates tend to rise.

So, for today’s rate shoppers, Friday’s job report represents a risk. The economy has created jobs for 18 straight months, a winning streak that has added 2.9 million people to the U.S. workforce. If that winning streak continues and expectations are beat, mortgage rates are likely to rise off their all-time lows, harming home affordability.

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Spain mortgage ratesIn a week of up-and-down trading, mortgage markets improved for the second consecutive week last week. Weaker-than-expected jobs data plus evidence of a slumping Eurozone took mortgage bonds lower, capped by a furious Friday morning rally that dropped mortgage rates to near-record levels.

Once again, volatility ruled the bond pits.

Tuesday afternoon, after the release of the Fed March Minutes, mortgage rates spiked. Some products climbed as much as 0.250 percent. The surge stemmed from the Fed Minutes showing Federal Reserve members hesitant to begin new rounds of market stimulus without a demonstrated, national economic slowdown.

Wall Street hadn’t expected the Fed’s verbiage to be so well-defined. With little evidence that such a slowdown was underway — the economy has shown two straight seasons of consistent, steady growth, after all — equity markets rallied and bond markets sunk, causing mortgage rates to rise.

By Wednesday, however, rates had started to fall.

Civil unrest in Spain plus concern that the nation will fail to meet its debt obligations drew global investors away from equities and into the relative safety of U.S. government-backed bonds — including mortgage-backed bonds. This is a common investment pattern during times of economic uncertainty and one of the major reasons why mortgage rates have been so low, for so long.

If the scenario in Spain sounds similar to what transpired in Greece between mid-2010 and late-2011, that’s because it is. Mortgage rates in Virginia may benefit in the medium-term.

Also helping rates last week was the March jobs report.

The U.S. government reported 120,000 net new jobs created in March, well short of the 200,000 figure that analysts expected. Market sold off sharply on the news, giving rate shoppers another chance to capture low rates.

Date Time (ET) Statistic For Market Expects Prior
04/10/12 01:15:00 PM 3-Year Treasury Not Auction n/a n/a
04/11/12 01:15:00 PM 10- Year Treasury Note Aucrion n/a n/a n/a
04/11/12 02:00:00 PM Fed’s Beige Book Apr
04/12/12 08:30:00 AM Initial Claims 04/07/12 355K 357K
04/12/12 08:30:00 AM PPI Mar 0.30% 0.40%
04/12/12 08:30:00 AM Core PPI Mar 0.20% 0.20%
04/12/12 08:30:00 AM Trade Balance Feb -$52.0B -$52.6B
04/13/12 08:30:00 AM CPI Mar 0.30% 0.40%
04/13/12 08:30:00 AM Core CPI Mar 0.20% 0.10%
04/13/12 09:55:00 AM Mich Sentiment Apr 76.1 76.2

 

This week, with the economic calendar light, look for Europe to dictate market action. Mortgage rates may move lower but there’s more room for rates to rise than to fall. Rates remain near all-time lows.

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Non-Farm Payrolls estimateIf you’re out shopping for a home this week, or trying to lock a mortgage rate, with Friday comes home affordability risk. Consider locking your mortgage rate today.

The March Non-Farm Payrolls report is due for release Friday morning and mortgage rates are expected to move. Unfortunately for the home buyers and rate shoppers of Midlothian , we can’t know in which direction that will be.

The prudent play may be to lock your mortgage rate today.

On the first Friday of each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its Non-Farm Payrolls report. More commonly called “the jobs report”, the release is a bona fide market-mover, month after month. 

Depending on how the March jobs data reads, FHA and conforming mortgage rates could rise — or fall — by a measurable amount post-release. This is because today’s mortgage market is closely tied to the economy, and the economy is closely tied to job growth.

The connection between jobs and mortgage rates is basic.

More workers leads to higher levels of consumer spending nationwide and consumer spending accounts for the majority of the U.S. economy.

In addition, when more workers are paid, more taxes are paid, too. Local, state and federal governments collect more monies when payrolls are rising which, in turn, benefits projects that purchase new goods and services, and, in many cases, results in the hiring of additional personnel.

Job creation can be a powerful, self-reinforcing cycle. 

Between 2008 and 2009, the economy shed 7 million jobs. It has since recovered half of them. Friday, analysts expect to count another 200,000 jobs created. If the actual number of jobs created exceeds estimates, look for stock markets to gain and bond markets to lose. This leads to higher mortgage rates — especially with the Federal Reserve zeroed in on the labor market.

If the actual number of jobs created in March falls short of expectations, however, mortgage rates may fall.

Unfortunately, by the time the report is released, it will be too late to act on it. The release is made at 8:30 AM ET and bond markets are closed for Good Friday.

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3-month rolling average NFP

This week, once more, we find mortgage rates are on a downward trajectory. Conforming mortgage rates have returned to near all-time lows. After Friday morning’s Non-Farm Payrolls report, however, those low rates may come to an end.

It’s a risky time for Virginia home buyers and would-be refinancers to be without a locked rate.

Each month, on the first Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its Non-Farm Payrolls report for the month prior. More commonly called the “jobs report”, Non-Farm Payrolls provides a sector-by-sector employment breakdown, and the nation’s Unemployment Rate.

In December 2011, the government reported 200,000 net new jobs created, and an Unemployment Rate of 8.5%.

For January 2012, economists project 135,000 net new jobs with no change in the Unemployment Rate and, depending on how accurate those predictions are proved, FHA and conforming mortgage rates are subject to change. The monthly jobs reports tends to have an out-sized influence on the direction of daily mortgage rates.

The connection between jobs and mortgage rates is fairly direct.

Job growth is a key cog in the economic growth engine and mortgage rates change daily based on short- and long-term economic expectation. As more people join the workforce, economic expectations change; the economy tends to expand, breeding optimism among investment. When this occurs, it often spurs investment in the stock market, which tends to leads mortgage rates up.

In short, in a recovering economy, when job growth is strong, all things equal, mortgage rates rise. Home affordability suffers.

So, for today’s rate shoppers, Friday’s job report represents a risk. The economy has added jobs over 15 straight months, a streak that’s added 2.1 million people to the workforce. Although the jobs market remains weak and well off its peaks from last decade, a 15-month streak is worth watching. More jobs means more more income earned nationwide, more money spent by households, and more taxes collected by governments.

This items build a foundation for economic growth and Wall Street is watching.

If tomorrow’s Non-Farm Payrolls shows more jobs created than the estimated 135,000, mortgage rates are expected to rise. If the jobs figures falls short, mortgage rates should fall.

The Non-Farm Payrolls report is released at 8:30 AM ET.

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Jobs report due FridayMortgage markets improved last week during a holiday-shortened trading week. The mortgage bond markets were closed Monday for Christmas, and closed early Friday afternoon. Trading volume was light all week long, which contributed to a year-end rally.

Mortgage bonds made their largest one-week gain in two months as conforming mortgage rates in Virginia fell to new lows nationwide.

Because most of the improvements transpired Wednesday and Thursday, Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey failed to capture the action. The survey’s poll of more than 125 banks across the country “closes” Tuesday.

As a result, Freddie Mac reported mortgage rates rising to 3.95% with an accompanying 0.7 discount points plus closing costs, where 1 discount point equals one percent of your borrowed amount. However, those rates represented the high point for the week.

By Friday, conforming loans “with points” were noticeably lower as compared to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey. Loans without discount points were little changed, however.

The same was true for FHA mortgages.

This week, though, the calendar reads 2012. Unfortunately, we’re still watching the stories that drove mortgage rates for much of 2011 — the Eurozone and its members’ debt obligations, and the U.S. jobs market.

As the year concluded, there were fresh fears of trouble in Italy, which has large amounts of debt due in the early part of the year. There were also stern warnings from Eurozone leaders that a difficult 2012 may be ahead.

Events like these are often good for U.S. mortgage rates.

And, this week, the government releases its December Non-Farm Payrolls report. The report moves markets — especially when the actual number of jobs created deviates from consensus estimates.

Economists expect that 150,000 net new jobs were created in December.

Date Time (ET) Statistic For Market Expects Prior
01/03/12 10:00:00 AM ISM Index Dec 53.4 52.7
01/03/12 10:00:00 AM Construction Spending Nov 0.50% 0.80%
01/03/12 02:00:00 PM FOMC Minutes 12/13/12
01/04/12 10:00:00 AM Factory Orders Nov 2.10% -0.40%
01/04/12 02:00:00 PM Auto Sales Dec NA 4.36M
01/04/12 02:00:00 PM Truck Sales Dec NA 5.98M
01/05/12 08:15:00 AM ADP Employment Change Dec 180K 206K
01/05/12 08:30:00 AM Initial Claims 12/31/12 375K 381K
01/05/12 10:00:00 AM ISM Services Dec 53 52
01/06/12 08:30:00 AM Nonfarm Payrolls Dec 150K 120K
01/06/12 08:30:00 AM Unemployment Rate Dec 8.70% 8.60%
01/06/12 08:30:00 AM Hourly Earnings Dec 0.20% -0.10%
01/06/12 08:30:00 AM Average Workweek Dec 34.3 34.3

Momentum may draw rates lower this, or mortgage rates may begin to rise instead. The direction depends on the outlook for 2012, both domestic and international. The safe play is to lock a mortgage rate now.

Rates have more room to rise than to fall.

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Net new jobs created (2000 - 2011)

Have you been floating a mortgage rate? It may be time to lock.

At 8:30 AM ET Friday, the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its November Non-Farm Payrolls report. Better known as “the jobs report”, the monthly Non-Farm Payrolls figures provide sector-by-sector employment data, and tally the size of the current U.S. workforce size.

From these two elements, the national Unemployment Rate is derived.

Since topping out at 10.2% in October 2009, the Unemployment Rate has dropped to 9.0%. More than 2.3 million net new jobs have been made in the last 24 months.

Wall Street expect to see 125,000 more jobs added in November.

Depending on how closely the actual Non-Farm Payrolls data meets Wall Street expectations, Henrico rate shoppers could find that the mortgage market landscape has shifted beneath them. The jobs report is a mortgage-market catalyst and when its reported value differs from Wall Street expectations, the impact on mortgage rates can be palpable — especially in a recovering economy.

The connection between the jobs market and the mortgage market is straight-forward — as the jobs market goes, so goes the economy.

  1. When more people work, consumer spending increases
  2. When consumer spending rises, businesses expand and invest
  3. When businesses expand and invest, more people are put to work

Furthermore, employees and employers both pay taxes to governments. With more tax revenue, governments embark upon new projects which (1) require the hiring of additional workers, and (2) require the purchase and/or repair of additional equipment and supplies.

Employment can be a self-reinforcing cycle for the economy and that’s why Friday’s jobs report will be so closely watched. If the number of jobs created exceeds the 125,000 expected, mortgage rates will rise on the expectation for a stronger U.S. economy in 2012.

Conversely, if the jobs figures fall short, mortgage rates may fall.

Mortgage rates continue to hover near all-time lows according to Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage is sub-4.000 percent nationwide, with an accompanying fee of 0.7 discount points. 1 discount point is equal to 1 percent of your loan size.

If you’re under contract for a home or looking to refinance, minimize your interest rate risk. Lock ahead of Friday’s Non-Farm Payrolls release.

Get your rate lock in today.

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Job growth since 2000

Within the next 48 hours, mortgage rates may get bouncy. The Federal Open Market Committee will adjourn from a 2-day meeting and October’s Non-Farm Payrolls report is due for release.

Of the two market movers, it’s the Non-Farm Payrolls report that may cause the most damage. Rate shoppers across Virginia would do well to pay attention.

Published monthly, the “jobs report” provides sector-by-sector employment data from the month prior. It’s a product of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and includes the national Unemployment Rate.

In September, the economy added 103,000 jobs, and job creation from the two months prior was shown to be higher by 99,000 jobs higher than originally reported. This was a huge improvement over the initial August release which showed zero new jobs created.

When September’s jobs report was released, mortgage rates spiked. This is because of the correlation between jobs and the U.S. economy. There are a lot of economic “positives” when the U.S. workforce is growing.

  1. Consumer spending increases
  2. Governments start more projects
  3. Businesses make more investment

Each of these items leads to additional hiring, and the cycle continues.

Wall Street expects that 90,000 jobs were created in October 2011. If the actual number of jobs created exceeds this estimate, it will be considered a positive for the economy, and mortgage rates should climb as Wall Street dumps mortgage-backed bonds in favor of equities.

Conversely, if the number of new jobs falls short of 90,000, it will be considered a disappointment, and mortgage rates should rise.

There is a lot of risk in floating a mortgage rate today. The Federal Reserve could make a statement that drives rates higher, and Friday’s job report could do the same. If you’re under contract for a home or planning to refinance, eliminate your interest rate risk.

Lock your mortgage rate today.

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