30- Second Update:  US Jobless Claims Drop & Interest Rates Remain Low!

For the week ending April 6th, initial jobless claims fell 8,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 196,000, marking the lowest levels in almost 50 years.  These numbers are welcome and surprising, since economists polled by Reuters had previously forecasted that claims would rise to 211,000 in the latest week.  This report is indicative of a strong economy with sustained labor market strength.  Bloomberg Economist Eliza Winger stated, “Employers are adding jobs at a pace that is well above the natural growth rate of the labor force, and job openings continue to exceed the number of job seekers.”

This report came a day after the Federal Reserve officials signaled they’re prepared to move interest rates higher or lower as needed, but due to fluctuations in the economy and overall market risk, it is expected that interest rates will remain on hold all year.  Currently, interest rates are hovering near 15-month lows, a welcome sign for borrowers looking to purchase or refinance a home this Spring.