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Modest Improvement In Hiring During September

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WASHINGTON (10/3/13)--U.S. businesses added 166,000 jobs in September--less than forecast and an indication of just modest improvement in hiring, according to payroll company ADP (The New York Times and Bloomberg.com Oct. 2).   
 
Last month's gain follows a 159,000-jobs increase in August and a 161,000 advance in July--both of which are a bit lower than previous estimates, the Times said. 
 
Quicker wage growth and progress in hiring is necessary to maintain advances in consumer  spending--the largest part of the U.S. economy, Bloomberg said.
 
Although the labor market should not be construed as weak, it is not as robust as analysts would prefer it to be, Scott Brown, chief economist for Raymond James & Associates in St. Petersburg, Fla., told Bloomberg.
 
A lack of traction indicates there has been a slight slowing of the economy, he added.

Mortgage Applications Decrease 0.4%

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WASHINGTON (10/3/13)--U.S. mortgage applications decreased 0.4% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Sept. 27.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 0.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the index declined.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index dropped 6%. The unadjusted Purchase Index fell 6% from the previous week and was 3% lower than the same week one year ago.

The Refinance Index rose 3% from the previous week. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 63% of total applications, the highest level since August 2013. It was 61% during the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 6% of total applications.

To read the MBA release, use the link.