Housing to benefit from the shortest unemployment line in 50 years The Labor Department recently reported that Weekly Initial Jobless Claims (those filing for first-time unemployment benefits) fell to 196,000, the lowest level since October 1969. Let’s put how strong the labor market is into perspective. The population in the late 1960s was 202 million compared to the current 327 million; therefore, the 196,000 print for the week ended April 6 is of a much larger population. This Initial Jobless Claims report removed the recession fears that existed earlier this year. It is highly unlikely we will see a recession in 2019 as the labor market is strengthening. Small business owners report a record high number of new employees in February and March. Once again, this signals the economy is accelerating. There are more jobs than available workers. There is a 1,000,000-person gap between job openings and available people to fill those jobs. Bottom line: Jobs buy homes, not low-interest rates. The great news is that today we have both a strong labor market, along with 14-month low mortgage rates. This should provide a nice tailwind for housing now and in the months ahead.