Weekly Economic Review: Job Openings Up Sharply in July

Posted by Laine Smith on 9/13/15 11:43 AM

Topics: Economy

It was a relatively uneventful week for economic news and mortgage rates last week. Mortgage rates saw a minimal uptick ahead of the upcoming Fed meeting.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Investors still have mixed reviews on whether the Fed will raise the federal funds rate on Thursday. Though the labor market has made significant gains, the inflation rate still remains well below the Fed's target level of 2 percent.

Job openings increased sharply in July to 5.753 million, the highest level since JOLTS data collection began in 2000. The job openings rate was 3.9% in July following a three-month stagnant rate of 3.6%, according to the JOLTS report.

The "quit" rate, which is used as an indication of worker confidence, remained high but unchanged at 1.9 percent for the fourth consecutive month. The number of highers decreased in July, possibly signaling a need for employers to raise wages in order to attract workers.

Last week in the economy:
  • Mortgage rates (the national average) increased 0.01% (1 basis point).
  • The S&P 500 ended the week at 1,961, up 2.07%.
  • The purchase index of MBA Mortgage Applications fell 1%. The refinance index fell back 10% after a 17% increase the prior week.
  • Consumer credit rose $19.1 billion in July for revolving credit. Non-revolving credit increased $14.8 billion, reflecting strength in vehicle sales and student loans.
  • Initial Jobless Claims moved lower, down 6,000 to a predicted level of 275,000. The 4-week average, though, is trending 5,000 higher than the month-ago level.
  • Consumer confidence remained stable in the September 6 week, unchanged at 41.4.
  • Consumer sentiment took a dive though in the mid-September report, down more than 6 points. Ths index is now at its lowest since September 2014.

What's on the economic calendar for the week of September 14, 2015:
  • Tuesday: Retail Sales
  • Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Applications, Housing Market Index and Consumer Price Index
  • Thursday: Housing Starts, Jobless Claims, FOMC Meeting Announcement and FOMC Forecasts

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