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State Employment Rates Could Influence Fed Rate Hike

Federal Reserve BHThe State Employment and Unemployment Summary for January 2017 was released on Monday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and data from the release shows that five states experienced lower unemployment rates, while the other 45 states and D.C. remained stable.

Twenty-eight states had significant year-over-year increases in non-farm payroll employment in February. The top three states were California, Florida, and Texas, which grew by 330,400; 227,900; and 225,300 respectively.

The rising employment could make the possible fed rate hike to be announced on Wednesday an even stronger possibility. Though the potential rate hike seems imminent, experts from NerdWallet state that mortgage rates have already risen solely in anticipation.

“For consumers currently shopping for a mortgage to purchase a property or refinance an existing loan, the possibility of the Fed’s decision to raise rates this week shouldn’t feel like a real shock to the system since the rate move has already been ‘baked’ into the market,” said NerdWallet mortgage expert Tim Manni. “Mortgage rates have been on the rise recently in anticipation of the Fed’s move. While 30-year mortgage rates set new 2017 highs within the past week, shorter-term home loans, like 5/1 ARMs which are more directly impacted by an increase to the Fed Funds Rates, have also risen within the past week and will likely move even higher following this latest meeting.”

A previous Bloomberg survey had predicted that 200,000 jobs would be added in February, but last week’s U.S. Census Bureau National Employment Summary showed better-than-expected numbers, as 235,000 jobs were added that month. In response, Mark Fleming, Chief Economist for the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, had said, “[T]he odds of a Fed rate increase at the meeting next week was already over 90 percent. This employment situation report only gives more reason for the Fed to move sooner than later.”

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