It’s all about last Friday’s job report — the tea leaves on unemployment reveal a major speed bump on the road to U.S economic recovery. And that should mean mortgage rates will remain low for the time being, at least until the economy shows stronger signs of health.
While the statistics say that 431,000 jobs were created, only 30,000 of them were in the private sector — the primary engine for economic growth. 400,000 U.S. Census jobs is nothing to get excited about — akin to giving Kobe Bryant credit for 40 points against the New York Knicks. Big deal.
Sure, there are myriad economic indexes that drive mortgage rates, but the unemployment number is a big one. It signals to homebuyers to “hang on” — lower housing prices are on the way.
Who could blame them? With demand low, banks and other mortgage lenders have to minimize mortgage loan interest rates to remain competitive. It’s cold comfort for an American looking to sell his or her house in Las Vegas, Miami, or even Lincoln, Nebraska. Times are tough again, if current economic indicators are accurate.
There are few signs that the economy will snap back to vibrancy. The unemployment number not only shows hiring to be weak, but that that some jobs that have already been lost may never return. According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, 6.76 million Americans have been out of work for more than 27 weeks. The stock market is usually a good barometer of economic health, but when the May employment numbers came out on Friday, the market tanked, falling 323 points.
In the end, it’s pretty simple. Fewer jobs means less consumer spending. Weaker consumer spending means a lousy economy. And a lousy economy means lower mortgage rates, which is what we’re seeing these days.
For the first week in June, the BankingMyWay Weekly Mortgage Rate Tracker looks like this: