The Balance Today: News You Need To Know on Oct. 20, 2022

Jobs market clings to strength while housing market slips

Two workers walk down a dirt path along a line of turbine windmills.

wera Rodsawang / Getty Images

The labor market continues to surprise us: Jobless claims, or claims from people filing for unemployment for the first time, dropped by 12,000 to 214,000 last week, lower than expected. If the drop in claims is a precursor to what we can expect in the jobs market, then the Federal Reserve has a lot more work to do to slow the economy down. 

While you would think that maximizing employment would be a good thing, right now the Fed is trying to bring inflation down, which means that we all have to go through some economic pain, including higher levels of unemployment. If a large share of workers remain employed and make more money, they’ll keep spending, further fueling inflation. 

But one thing that people aren’t as interested in spending on is homes. Home sales dropped 1.5% in September from the month before, and remain 23.8% lower than last year. Higher mortgage rates (which currently sit at an average of 6.94% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan) are weighing on prospective buyers who are forced to pay more for a home, and more for the home loan, meaning that buyers might have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars more to become a homeowner.

The median price for a single family home rose to $391,000, 8.1% higher than September of last year.

Stocks are rising this morning on the heels of stronger-than-expected earnings. Don’t be too surprised if stocks go on a rollercoaster ride throughout this earning season, as investors respond to strengths and weaknesses in corporate reports.

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Labor Department. “Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims.”

  2. National Association of Realtors. “Existing-Home Sales Decreased 1.5% in September.”

  3. Freddie Mac. “Primary Mortgage Market Survey.”

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