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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.