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April 3, 2013

Structural Problem with Jobs?

April 3, 2013

Structural Problem with Jobs?

ADP Employment Report (March 2013)

– Private Sector Jobs +158,000. Previous was revised to +237,000.  Consensus was about 205,000.

Jobs data has been telling us one thing for a very long time:  it is constantly becoming more difficult to get a job without either education of special skills.  Jobs not requiring either of those are either being offshored or replaced by automation.

Worse yet, the cost of getting a college education has increased dramatically and puts the student/job seeker in the position of getting a college education with tens of thousands of debt and then facing a tough labor market.

Weakness in the jobs market is not only a cyclical thing in response to the liquidity crisis/Great Recession but a structural thing.  We need a better educated or trained population and this education needs to be affordable.

MBA Purchase Applications  (week ended 3/29/2013)

– Composite Index – Week/Week -4.0%. Previous weeks were  +7.7%, -7.1%, -4.7%. +14.8% and -3.8%.

– Purchase Index – Week/Week +1.0%. Previous weeks were +7.0%. -4.0%, -3.0%, +15% and -5%.

– Refinance Index – Week/Week -6.0%. Previous weeks were +8.0%.,-8.0%, -5.0%, +15% and -3.0%.

With FHA premiums getting a lot nastier for loans submitted starting this month last week’s application may have been boosted by the desire to avoid the FHA premium increase and the burdensome rule that borrowers need to pay the premium for 11 years.

FHA mortgages are getting less attractive compared to conventional loans with mortgage insurance. This is not something bad.  We’re so burdened by increased government debt that we don’t need more debt to bail out FHA.

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (March 2013)

– Composite Index is 54.4 down from 56.0.  Expansion?  Yes but at a slower rate.  50.0 is neutral.

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