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Mortgage Applications Dropped 13.5% Last Week

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WASHINGTON (9/12/13)--U.S. mortgage applications for the week ending Sept. 6 decreased 13.5% from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. The week's results included an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday.  
 
The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, dropped 13.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis. On an unadjusted basis, the Index fell 23%. The Refinance Index declined 20%. It fell 71% from its recent peak the week of May 3, and is at the lowest level since June 2009.
 
The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index declined 3% from one week earlier. The unadjusted index decreased 14%, compared with the previous week, and was 7% higher than the same week one year ago.
 
The refinance share of mortgage activity dropped to 57% of total applications from 61% the previous week and is at its lowest level since April 2010.
 
The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity was unchanged at 7% of total applications. The Home Affordable Refinance Program share of refinance applications was unchanged from the prior week at 38%.

Drop In Job Openings Signals Struggle In Labor Market

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WASHINGTON (9/12/13)--Job openings in July totaled 3.69 million, an 180,000 drop from a downwardly revised 3.87 million openings in June. July's total was the lowest level in six months, said the Labor Department Tuesday.

The data, coupled with reports last week indicating slower growth in payrolls than expected for August, signal uneven progress in the labor market, which is struggling to gain momentum as third quarter begins, said Bloomberg.com (Sept. 10).

Job openings dropped in construction, retail and health industries and in government agencies, but rose in manufacturing and the accommodation and food services.

In the 12 months ending in July, nearly 1.9 million jobs were created, representing 52.1 million hires and 50.2 million separations, said Bloomberg. The figures mean that 3.1 people applied for every job opening, an increase from the 1.8 who applied per position when the recession began in December 2007.

July dismissals--excluding retirements and those who left their job voluntarily--totaled 1.5 million, a decline from June's 1.6 million, said the report. Another 2.27 million people quit their jobs in July, up from 2.21 million who quit in June.