Weekly Economic Review: 33,000 Jobs Lost in September, Unemployment Rate Dips

Posted by Laine Smith on 10/8/17 10:54 AM

Topics: Economy

In this week’s economic review, the hurricanes' influence was largely felt in some economic reports, like employment, and lessened in others. Mortgage rates ended the week with a small increase.  

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Employment

The hurricane effects were largely felt in Friday’s employment report. The report posted its first monthly decline in seven years with the U.S. economy losing 33,000 jobs in September.

Though the decline is likely a hurricane-induced blip in the employment radar, the report also revealed other surprising data like the unemployment rate falling 2 tenths to 4.2 percent and average hourly earnings spiking 0.5 percent.

The jump in average hourly earnings now matches July (with a 0.2 percent upward revision) as the highest monthly increase of the expansion.

Consumer Credit

Credit spending fell short in August with a lower-than-expected $13.1 billion. Though overall spending was on the low end of consensus levels, it masks the sizable $5.8 billion increase in revolving credit.

This week in the economy:

  • Mortgage rates saw a small increase in the week of October 5th. The 30-year fixed rate was 3.85 percent with 0.5 points, according to Freddie Mac.
  • Purchase applications increased again in the week of September 29th with another 1.0 percent seasonally adjusted rise. This lifted the year-over-year rate to plus 5 percent. Refinancing applications, though, fell for a third consecutive week. This declined the refinancing share of mortgage activity to 50.1 percent.
  • The hurricane impact appears to be fading in regards to new jobless claims. In the week of September 30, initial claims dropped by 12,000 to a level of 260,000.
  • The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index posted its largest decline in a year with a 1.7-point drop in the week of October 1st. Though still solid at 49.9, the index weakness is centered in personal finances.

The economic calendar for the week of October 9th, 2017:

  • Wednesday – MBA Mortgage Applications, JOLTS
  • Thursday – Jobless Claims, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
  • Friday – Consumer Price Index, Retail Sales, Consumer Sentiment

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