The Labor Department reports new claims for unemployment benefits rose by 11,000 to 261,000 the week ended Jan. 6. That’s the highest level since the middle of September and above the 248,000 expected by economists. Continuing claims fell by 35,000 to 1.87 million. The U.S. labor market enters 2018 in the best shape in almost 20 years. The economy added 2 million jobs last year . Unemployment is just 4.1%. The chief of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says businesses simply can’t find enough skilled workers.
Freddie Mac reports mortgage rates are up. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.99% the week, up from last week’s 3.95%. A year ago it was 4.12%. The 15-year fixed averaged 3.44% up from 3.38%. A year ago it was 3.37%.
Serving the West Side first, I am Bill Roller of BR Capital for 1360 KUIK.