• The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 137 thousand to 853 thousand in the week ending December 5. The 4-week moving average was 776 thousand, an increase of 35.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending November 28 was 5,757 thousand, an increase of 230 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 5,935.75 thousand, a decrease of 260.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.9% for the week ending November 28, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.1% from October to November. This result stems from a 0.3% increase in average hourly earnings combined with an increase of 0.2% in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 4.6% in the third quarter of 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , as output increased 43.4% and hours worked increased 37.1%. The 4.6% gain in productivity in the third quarter follows an increase of 10.6% during the second quarter. Over the last four quarters, nonfarm business productivity increased 4.0%, reflecting a 3.4% decline in output and a 7.1% decline in hours worked. The number of job openings was little changed at 6.7 million on the last business day of October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hires were little changed at 5.8 million while total separations increased to 5.1 million. Within separations, the quits rate was unchanged at 2.2% while the layoffs and discharges rate increased to 1.2%.
  • The producer price index for final demand (headline index) increased 0.1% in November, following an increase of 0.3% in the previous month. The index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade also increased 0.1%, following an increase of 0.2% in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand (headline index) increased 0.8% from November 2019 to November 2020, while the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade increased 0.9%.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) increased 0.2% in November, after holding steady in the previous month.  The core index, all items less food and energy, also increased 0.2%, after holding steady  in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.2% for the 12-month period ending in November. The core index rose 1.6% from a year ago.
  • Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 2,484 counties, decreased in 612 counties, and was unchanged in 17 counties in 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The percent change in real GDP ranged from 62.5% in Greensville + Emporia, VA, to negative 34.2% in Jackson County, WV.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates remain at record lows and mortgage spreads – the difference between mortgage rates and the 10-year Treasury rate – are declining from their elevated levels earlier this year. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.71% for the week ending December 10, unchanged from last week. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.73%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.26%, unchanged from last week. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.19%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 1.2% from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 4, 2020.
  • There were 71,708,243 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,605,141 deaths, and 46,857,548 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 12/13/2020, 2:00 EST). In the United States, there are 16,062,476 confirmed cases, 297,832 deaths, and 6,246,605 recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.

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