Weekly Jobless Claims Better than Expected
Last week, the jobless situation in the United States improved once further, with initial unemployment insurance claims falling to a pandemic-era low.
On Thursday, the Labor Department said that initial jobless claims fell to 269,000 for the week ending October 30th, down 14,000 from the previous week and better than the Dow Jones forecast of 275,000. The dip in filings coincides with a rollback of special programs implemented during the crisis, with the overall number of people getting benefits from all programs falling by 157,731 to 2.67 million.
Continuing claims fell 134,000 to a little over 2.1 million, a week behind the headline number. All of the jobless figures have been at their lowest levels since March 14, 2020.
Refis Fall to Nearly 2-Year Low
The Mortgage Bankers Association stated in its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 29th that mortgage rates declined last week, but so did mortgage applications, particularly refinance applications
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Market Composite Index fell 3.3 percent from the previous week. The Index fell 4% from the prior week on an unadjusted basis. The unadjusted Refinance Index fell 4%, while the refinance share of total mortgage applications dropped to 61.9 percent from 62.2 percent – both from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index fell 2% from the last week to its lowest point since January 2020. Compared to last week’s numbers, the FHA’s portion of overall applications fell to 9.2% from 10.4%; the VA’s portion fell to 9.9% from 10.6%, and the USDA’s share remained steady at 0.5 percent.
Joel Kan, MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting, said purchase activity continues to be held back by high prices and low for-sale inventory. However, current application levels still point to healthy housing demand. “MBA is forecasting for a record $1.6 billion in purchase mortgage originations this year, and sustained demand leading to another record year in 2022,” he said.
Companies Add 571,000 Jobs in October
According to ADP, a payroll processing firm, private-sector job creation increased in October due to a surge in hiring in the hospitality sector. Companies added 571,000 jobs in October, exceeding the Dow Jones’ forecast of 395,000 and coming in just ahead of September’s downwardly revised 523,000. It was the best job-seeking month since June.
The leisure and hospitality industry witnessed an increase of 185,000 jobs, despite being well below its pre-pandemic employment level. The sector is viewed as a measure of the economy’s recovery, which slowed over the summer due to a surge in the Covid delta version and a significant supply line clog. Overall, 458,000 new jobs were created as a result of the sector’s expansion.
Meanwhile, 88,000 jobs were added in professional and business services, 78,000 in trade transportation and utilities, and 56,000 in education and health services. Construction and manufacturing created 54,000 and 53,000 jobs in the goods-producing sector, which added 113,000 jobs.
Next week’s potential market-moving reports are:
- Monday, November 8th – No Report
- Tuesday, November 9th – NFIB Small-Business Index
- Wednesday, November 10th – Initial Jobless Claims, Continuing Jobless Claims; Federal Budget
- Thursday, November 11th – No Report
- Friday, November 12th – Job Openings, Five-Year Inflation Expectations
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