Tags: Mortgage Rates | Home Loan | Borrowing | Housing

Average US Rate on 30-year Mortgage Rises to 3.8 Percent

Thursday, 07 May 2015 11:29 AM

Slightly more Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. But even with the modest increase, the total number of people collecting jobless aid — pulled down steadily for months — fell to near 15-year lows.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment benefits rose 3,000 to 265,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell 4,250 to 279,500, the lowest level since May 2000.

The total number of people receiving benefits was 2.23 million, the lowest figure since November 2000. That figure has fallen by more than 20 percent over the past 12 months.

This suggests that employers are holding onto workers despite barely any economic growth in the first three months of the year.

Weekly applications are a proxy for layoffs. They have stayed below 300,000 for the past two months, which usually indicates additional hiring on the expectation of business improving.

Growth practically flat-lined in the first quarter, but employers appear to have only tapped the brakes on hiring so far.

The economy improved at a barely there 0.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter of the year, the government said last week. This was a severe deceleration from the 3.6 percent pace in the final six months of last year, although it corresponds with a similar slowdown at the start of 2014 caused by fierce winter storms.

Between January and March, energy firms invested less in equipment and drilling, while consumer spending slowed.

The meager growth trickled into weaker hiring in March. Employers added just 126,000 jobs that month, ending a yearlong streak of monthly gains above 200,000. The unemployment rate remained 5.5 percent.

Still, the low levels of layoffs indicate "that report's weakness may have been a blip in an otherwise solid trend," said Derek Lindsey, an analyst at BNP Paribas.

Economists expect a rebound in the government's April jobs report to be released Friday.

They anticipate that 222,500 workers were hired, causing the unemployment rate to slip to 5.4 percent, according to FactSet.

But a private survey raised concerns that hiring might have struggled for a second straight month. Payroll processor ADP said that businesses added just 169,000 jobs in April, down from 175,000 in March.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

1Like our page
Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates are up this week to the highest level since mid-March.
Mortgage Rates, Home Loan, Borrowing, Housing
Thursday, 07 May 2015 11:29 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
Newsmax TV Live

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved