The monthly unemployment report was released today and the results were worse than expected. In total it is estimated that 524,000 jobs were lost in December. Economists were expecting job losses to be closer to 500,000 for December. On top of that the numbers for October and November were also revised to show larger losses than were first reported. The unemployment rate has jumped up to 7.2% which is the highest it has been in 16 years.
One bright spot in all of this bad news is that mortgage rates remain at all time lows. This should help a lot of borrowers to free up some money by refinancing their mortgage into lower monthly payments.
Another factor keeping mortgage rates at these historic levels is the fact that the Federal Reserve has begun their program of purchasing Agency Mortgage Backed Securities in an effort to keep rates low. So far it has worked as rates have been available in the 4s at times this week.