Weekly Economic Review: September Job Openings Near All-Time High

Posted by Laine Smith on 11/12/17 12:24 PM

Topics: Economy

In this week’s economic review, preliminary consumer sentiment dropped, job openings continued to increase while hiring remained stagnant, and mortgage rates declined slightly.


Job Openings and Labor Turnover

Job openings increased slightly in September to a plentiful 6.093 million, but hiring remained somewhat stagnant at 5.3 million. Job openings are at their third-highest vacancy total, shy of July and June 2017.

The quit rate saw little change at 2.2 percent.

Consumer Sentiment

In the preliminary report for November, consumer sentiment edged down to 97.8 from September’s level of 100.7. Both current conditions and consumer expectations readings dropped, though the overall index held at its second highest level since January.

This week in the economy:

  • Mortgage rates fell slightly as of November 9th. The 30-year average fixed rate was 3.90 percent with 0.5 points, according to Freddie Mac.
  • Purchase applications rose a seasonally adjusted 1.0 percent in the week of November 3rd, after falling 1 percent the week prior. This is the first increase in 3 weeks, pushing the unadjusted purchase index to 9 percent above its level one year ago. Refinance applications fell 1 percent from the previous week, but the refinance share of mortgage activity increased 0.3 percentage points to 49.0 percent.
  • In the week of November 4th, initial jobless claims jumped 10,000 to 239,000 after an unexpected drop the week prior. The 4-week average, though, declined 1,250 to 231,250, the lowest 4-week average in over 40 years.
  • The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell 0.2 points from 51.7 to 51.5 in the week of November 15th.

The economic calendar for the week of November 13th, 2017:

  • Wednesday – MBA Mortgage Applications, Consumer Price Index, Retail Sales
  • Thursday – Jobless Claims, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, Housing Market Index
  • Friday – Housing Starts

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