9/9: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Purchase loan applications fall 3 percent from previous week, down 18 percent year-on-year

The Market Composite Index for mortgage apps decreased 1.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling 3 percent (and down 18 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity also falling 3 percent (and down 4 percent year-on-year).  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages remained unchanged at 3.03 percent.

July job openings rise 7.4 percent to 10.9 million, 2.2 million more than unemployed persons

The number of job openings increased 7.4 percent to a series high of 10.9 million on the last business day of July.  Hires fell 2.3 percent, and separations rose 3.1 percent.  With 8.7 million unemployed persons in July, the gap between job openings and unemployed people to take them soared to over 2.2 million, up over 200 percent from June.

Employment rises by 235,000 in August, unemployment rate edges down to 5.2 percent

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 235,000 in August, and the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 5.2 percent. So far this year, monthly job growth has averaged 586,000. In August, notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, private education, manufacturing, and other services. Employment in retail trade declined over the month.