Economy Watch: Jobs, Freddie Mac Delinquent Mortgages
- Oct 03, 2014
The U.S. economy created 248,000 jobs in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, well beyond the gains of the last 12 months, which have averaged 213,000 per month. There was job growth in professional and business services, retail trade, and healthcare, among other categories, for the month.
The change in total employment for July and August were revised from a gain of 212,000 to one of 243,000, and a gain of 142,000 to one of 180,000, respectively. With these revisions, employment gains in July and August combined were 69,000 more than previously reported.
The official U.S. unemployment rate for August, which is calculated by the BLS using a separate survey from the number of jobs, came in at 5.9 percent, compared with 6.1 percent in August. Since last September, the unemployment rate has dropped 1.3 percentage points, and the number of unemployed persons has gone down by 1.9 million.
On Thursday, ahead of the jobs report, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that for the week ending Sept. 27, initial unemployment claims came in at an annualized rate of 287,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week. The four-week moving average was 294,750, a decrease of 4,250 from the previous week.
Freddie Mac Delinquent Mortgages Drop
Freddie Mac reported on Thursday that its single-family serious delinquency rate declined from 2.02 percent in July to 1.98 percent in August. The rate is down from 2.64 percent a year ago, and is at its lowest level since January 2009. The GSE’s serious delinquency rate peaked in February 2010 at 4.2 percent.
The serious delinquency rate refers to those loans owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac, which defines delinquency as those mortgages that are “three monthly payments or more past due or in foreclosure.” Sister GSE Fannie Mae reported earlier in the week that its single-family serious delinquency rate declined slightly, from 2 percent in July to 1.99 percent in August. Both rates have been dropping consistently since the end of the recession.
Wall Street had a mixed day on Thursday ahead of the jobs numbers, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average off 3.66 points, or a scant 0.02 percent. The S&P 500 essentially broke even, while the Nasdaq edged up 0.18 percent.