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Mark Hemingway

Mortgage Market Update for March 8th

Friday, March 8, 2019 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC - Message

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were just 20,000 jobs created in February, well below estimates ranging from 173,000 to 185,000. When looking at the internal numbers, wage growth jumped 3.4% year-over-year, the largest gain since 2009. Month-over-month saw a 0.4% gain, above the 0.3% expected. The Unemployment Rate fell to 3.8%, a near 50-year low. The U6 number, or total unemployed, fell to 7.3% from 8.1%. The Labor Force Participation Rate was unchanged at 63.2% and has been rising slowly. So overall, not a bad report after the weak headline number. Housing numbers are beginning to rebound in 2019 with positive reports from New and Existing Home Sales, Housing Starts and Building Permits so far this year. The Commerce Department reports that Housing Starts rose nearly 19% in January from December to an annual rate of 1.23 million units versus the 1.18 million expected. However, starts were down 7.8% from January 2018. Construction on single-family units surged 25% month-over-month, up 4.5% year-over-year. Multi-family dwellings rose 4% month-over-month and were down 33% annually. Gains were seen in all regions across the nation except for the Midwest.

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