Okay, now that’s a nice number. Job creation is a critical component to the economy and for years the thinking was any month of non-farm payroll jobs above 300,000 was the key getting the economy on the move. And not just a little bump here and there but a real catalyst. For the past year, while job creation has been at a respectable pace averaging just over 240,000 it really never approached anything clearing the 300,000 mark. But November’s report just might get out economy out of its doldrums.
The Labor Department reported today there were 321,000 new jobs created in November, the strongest rise since January of 2012 and revised the October count upward as well. The unemployment rate stayed the same at 5.8% while average hourly earnings also showed a healthy increase. The 321,000 figure was nearly 100,000 more than many economists had predicted.
It’s not very likely the Fed will raise rates sooner rather than later after today’s release as the inflation rate is still well below the 2.00% target. And even though hourly earnings increased by a 2.1% margin, most feel a consistent 3.0% bump will move the inflation number closer to target as consumers have more money in their pockets, theoretically driving up prices.
At last count, VA mortgage rates have remained relatively stable and may still hold below the 4.00% mark. With today’s job numbers however, expect wild swings as speculators move funds around different markets. Volatile times ahead? Probably. If we see just a few more positive reports on the economic front over the next several days, VA mortgage rates will rise closer to 4.25% over the next couple of weeks. That’s a pretty good guess, anyway.