The job market continues to hear good news as Americans filing for first time unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level since January of 2008. The Department of Labor reported that Weekly Initial Jobless Claims fell by 4,000 in the latest week to 323,000 and below the 336,000 that was expected. The labor markets have been steadily improving, especially with people filing for unemployment checks.
In the week ending January 5, 2013, the number of claims was 557K. To go one step further, at the height of the recession back in the week ended January 10, 2009, weekly initial jobless claims soared to 956K and that was the highest level since the +1 million recorded back in January of 1982.
Over in the housing sector, the number of homeowners that fell behind on their mortgage payments rose the the first quarter of 2013, as reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Delinquencies rose by 7.25% from 7.09% in the 4th quarter of 2012, but are lower than the 7.40% recorded in the same period last year. Delinquency rates are measured by mortgages that are at least one payment behind and have not yet entered the foreclosure process.
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