Key Economic Indicators – January 7, 2013

  • Total non-farm payroll employment rose 155 thousand to 134.021 million in December, following an increase of 161 thousand in the previous month.   Private-sector payrolls increased by 168 thousand in the month, while government employment decreased by 13 thousand.
  • The unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.8%.
  • The average workweek of production and non-supervisory employees increased 0.1 to 33.8 hours, while average hourly earnings increased by 6 cents.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased by 10 thousand to 372 thousand in the week ending December 29.
  • New orders for manufactured goods increased less than 0.1% in November, while shipments increased 0.4%.
  • November construction spending decreased 0.3%, following a 0.7% increase in the previous month.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed fixed mortgage rates remaining near all-time record lows. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.34% for the week ending January 3, 2013, down from last week when it averaged 3.35%.
  • Mortgage applications for the week ending December 28, 2012 decreased 21.6% from the week ending December 14, 2012 (two weeks prior), according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s Survey.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector expanded in December, following one month of contraction, and the overall economy grew for the 43rd consecutive month.
  • In December, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing survey results indicated growth in the non-manufacturing business activity (exceeded 50.0%) for the 36th consecutive month.

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