The unemployment rate was unchanged in May staying put at 6.3 percent with 9.8 million Americans unemployed, the lowest unemployment has been since September 2008. However, a recent analysis from RealtyTrac makes the case that the population of Americans not looking for work is not being accurately reflected in their impact on the housing market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that roughly 92 million Americans remain out of the labor force, but aren't showing up in unemployment statistics.
The company reported that roughly 920,000 people dropped out of the labor force in May, wiping out January and February gains. The study found that total employment stood at 145.8 million, which means that for every three Americans earning a paycheck there are two who aren't looking for a job. With fewer people working, the economic ramifications will ripple across the economy, especially in the housing market. Men and women who aren't working won't be purchasing a house any time soon, depressing the current and future housing market.
Signs of an improving economy boosted fixed mortgage rates this week, market reports show. According to Freddie Mac, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.2 percent for the week, an increase of 6 basis points from last week's report. Last year, the 30-year FRM hovered just below 4 percent. The increases followed last week's release of the May jobs report, which showed payrolls performing more or less as expected.