Sorry folks, this one is kind of boring.  But it’s pretty good information if you are looking for mortgage now, or just want to sound a tiny bit smarter as you stand around the water cooler this morning.

The first Jobs Report of the new year comes in showing that only 156,000 new jobs were created last month, down the 204,000 the month before.  Ordinarily, stifled job growth would be seen as a negative economic indicator and would interest rates to drop.  However, today’s publication from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Average Hourly Earnings rose 0.4% last month to cap off 2016 with a 2.9% increase in hourly pay; this is being seen as a sign of future inflation.  And I am sure that you will remember from your Econ 101 class (which I never took because at that point in my life I was an “artist”) that inflationary fears cause interest rates to rise.  And that’s what the markets are latching onto this morning, not the uptick in the Unemployment Rate from 4.6% to 4.7%.

All told, wholesale mortgage bond prices have given back about a third of the losses sustained after the election, but this has yet to be relayed on to consumers–probably because the price decay was so swift that secondary market hedgers lost their shorts on November ninth and need every cent of profit they can scrape together just to keep their jobs.  If we can sustain the current pricing for a few more weeks, we may see rates come back down a touch–but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Got Grease?

More conflicting opinions out today.  Stocks rallied yesterday on investor hopes that the current slowdown will spark a slew of stimulus packages and bailouts around the world to grease the wheels of international currency flow.  However, private analysts and Fed Governors alike have spoken out this morning about a decreased risk of a global recession.  Perhaps they too are already calculating in a little help from friends?

Ahead of Friday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Jobs Report, the ADP Report out this morning shows 214,000 new jobs were created last month.  That’s 24,000 more than expected, and 22,000 more than last month’s total.  The BLS report is also anticipating 190,000 new jobs reported, which would be an improvement of 47,000 over February’s calculation.

Jobs Report: Beauty is Only Skin Deep

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports this morning that there were 288,000 new jobs created last month in the United States, the largest gain since January 2012.  This drops the unemployment rate to 6.3%, the lowest seen since September 2008.  Initially this morning stocks prices rose and bond prices fell on the headlines of the BLS report.  However, deeper down in the text there is a much larger number: 806,000.  As in 806,000 left the workforce last month.  Ouch!  The number of people who no longer have jobs is almost four times the number of people who just found jobs.  Where I am a glass-half-full kind of guy, the positive is that interest rates should be low for a long time–or heaven help us all.