Two pieces of job-related data released today for the month of August indicate that the job market continues to improve solidly: the normal level of unemployment insurance claims and solid creation in payroll jobs.
First, initial claims for unemployment insurance filed under the regular state programs averaged 302,000 in August, a slight increase from the July level (296,000) but still within the benchmark of 300,000 that most analysts consider as an indicator of normal economic activity. Fewer claims for unemployment insurance means greater job stability for workers, an important consideration for securing a mortgage.
Second, a major payroll processing company (ADP) reported that non-farm private employment increased in August by 204,000. The official employment data will be released tomorrow, but the ADP report presages that the official tally for job gains in August will continue to be above the 200,000 benchmark that analysts see as necessary for bringing down unemployment on a sustained basis.
Overall, jobs are expanding on a sustained level which can support 5 million existing home sales in 2014.