According to the August 2015 Employment Summary released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nonfarm employment increased in August by 173,000, which is well below the monthly average for the previous 12 months of 247,000. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.1 percent while the number of unemployed persons in the nation fell below eight million. The unemployment rate and number of unemployed persons are down by 1 full percentage point and 1.5 million people, respectively, year-over-year in August.
"The soft headline may not even be an issue next month, as August payroll gains typically get meaningful upward revisions," said Doug Duncan, SVP and Chief Economist with Fannie Mae. "While the Fed could find reasons to delay raising rates, including increased downside risk for inflation and financial instability, we believe that it will not find one in this jobs report. We continue to call for a September lift-off, with a one-and-done hike this year on the way to normalizing monetary policy going forward."
Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) edged up 1 basis point to 3.90 percent with an average 0.6 point. Last week the rate was 3.89 percent and one year ago, the rate averaged 4.12 percent.
"Following a shortened week, mortgage rates were virtually unchanged, inching up 1 basis point to 3.90 percent,” said Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac. “The employment report released last Friday provided mixed signals, adding one more note of uncertainty prior to the Fed's September meeting. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.1 percent in August, the lowest rate since April 2008, but only 173,000 jobs were added, well below expectations. Wages grew 2.2 percent, a neutral indication at best."
Freddie Mac also reported that the 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.10 percent with an average 0.7 point. This rate up from last week’s average of 3.09 percent, and a year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.26 percent.
The survey data showed that the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.91 percent this week, down from last week when it averaged 2.93 percent. The 5-year ARM averaged 2.99 percent one year ago.
The average 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM was 2.63 percent this week, up from last week when it averaged 2.62 percent. Last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.45 percent.