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Jobs report is just kinda blah

By Holden Lewis ·
Friday, June 7, 2013
Posted: 10 am ET

Today's employment report for May is unlikely to do anything to mortgage rates. The good news is the jobs report won't add fuel to the recent steep rise in rates. The bad news is it won't cause mortgage rates to fall.

Total nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 175,000 in May, according to the Labor Department. That's close to what had been the consensus prediction among economists and investors. The March and April nonfarm payroll numbers were revised downward by a net 12,000.

The unemployment rate blipped upward to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent.

Where the jobs aren't

Construction employment was pretty much unchanged, according to the Labor Department. I have a hunch that construction employment would have risen if contractors could find skilled tradespeople to hire. A lot of construction workers lost their jobs over the last six years, and their skills are rusty, or they found other kinds of work.

You know what bums me out? Job cuts resulting from the sequester. Specifically, I want to camp along the Blue Ridge Parkway during my vacation. But my favorite campground -- Balsam Mountain, in Great Smoky Mountains National Park -- is closed this year because of the sequester. So are three other campgrounds along the parkway.

For mortgage shoppers, these closed campgrounds are a sign of good news: They are among the thousands of job cuts in federal, state and local government that keep the unemployment rate up, which helps to keep mortgage rates from rising more. So enjoy, mortgage applicants!

Follow me on Twitter @HoldenL.

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