The November jobs number delivered better than expected results Friday morning, indicating that the economy added 146,000 jobs for the month. The overall unemployment rate dropped from 7.9% in October to 7.7% in November. There are heavy concerns however over labor participation rates across the US, which has some economists skeptical of the validity of the actual unemployment percentages. Even with the drop in job creation from October to November, we can still cheer the continuation of job creation here in the US. North Carolina and Triangle Unemployment data for November should be released in the next few days.
The December Consumer Sentiment report, which was also delivered Friday morning, came in much lower than expected at a reading of 74.5, providing a major departure from the November reading of 82.7. Economic concerns, both domestic and global continue to weigh on consumers here in the US.
“Fiscal Cliff” concerns are outweighing traditional economic data right now, and the markets’ reaction to Friday’s data has been largely flat. Mortgage Rates continue to trade in a very narrow range, and will likely do so through the end of the year, as most market participants are anxious about not only the fiscal cliff decision, but about the unknown consequences of reaching year end without a fiscal resolution. Have a wonderful weekend.