The nation's jobless rate rose to 9.9 percent in April, up from 9.7 percent in March, the ""U.S. Department of Labor reported"":http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm Friday.[IMAGE]
The unemployment rate increased despite the fact that the economy added 290,000 new jobs last month Ã¢â‚¬" more than analysts were expecting, and a sign that out-of-work Americans who had become discouraged with the hunt and dropped off the grid are regaining hope and returning to the job market.
Unemployment has become one of the strongest default triggers for borrowers. The fact that a larger-than-anticipated number of people found new jobs increases the likelihood that those who are homeowners will be able to make their mortgage payments and some who may have already turned delinquent may be able to return the loan to current status on their own.[COLUMN_BREAK]
Commenting on the jobs numbers, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) said, ""The fact that the unemployment rate has moved upward even as we have created more than a half million jobs in two months not only is an argument for intensifying our efforts, but indicates that confidence in the economy is beginning to return.""
According to the Labor Department, the job gains in April occurred in manufacturing, professional and business services, health care, leisure and hospitality, and federal government employment. The data also indicated that March's job additions were revised upward to 230,000 from the 162,000 previously reported.
Along with the new April numbers, the Labor Department provided a more detailed explanation of the March unemployment figures. The online resource ""MortgageStats.com"":http://mortgagestats.com/macro/ offers an in-depth breakdown of the mortgage-related data.
Mortgage companies cut 1,500 full-time workers from their payrolls in March after adding 4,400 full-time employees the previous month, the data site said. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that employment in the mortgage banker/broker sector fell to 252,500 full-time positions in March from 254,000 in February.
But according to MortgageStats.com's analysis of the report, mortgage industry employment is down only 6.7 percent from March 2009, compared to a 21.6 percent drop during the previous 12-month period. Meanwhile, the data site notes that loan production slowed in the first quarter, which could explain some of the layoffs in March.