November Job Growth Solid

Job growth remained solid in November after the brief hiccup in September due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 228,000 workers were hired last month, above the 190,000 expected. Within the report it showed that the Unemployment Rate remained at 4.1 %, which is considered full employment. However, average hourly earnings disappointed, growing by 0.2% from October to November, below the 0.3% expected. Year-over-year, earnings rose 2.5%, again below the 2.7% expected. In 2017, average monthly job growth eased to 174,000 new jobs per month from 187,000 in 2016.

Mortgage credit availability loosened a bit in November driven in part by a net increase in investor offerings. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that mortgage credit availability index increased to 182.4 last month, an uptick of 0.8%. An increase in the index indicates that credit availability is loosening, while a decrease signals that lending standards are tightening. The index was bench marked to 100 in March 2012.

The House and Senate approved a measure Thursday to avert a partial government shutdown ahead of the midnight deadline tonight. The bill, also known as a continuing resolution, would keep federal agencies functioning for an additional two weeks through Dec. 22.