The latest U.S. employment data indicates that the American labor market is stable, but real estate data was confusing. Accordingly, last week the number of applicants for unemployment insurance increased by 1,000 people to 295,000, while expectations were at 287,000. This was the third week unemployment applications increased. The average number of applications for the past four weeks was around 284,500, an increase of 1,750.
Ongoing unemployment applications decreased by 57,000 when compared to last week to 2.3 million, which is the lowest figure since 2000. Economists have said that while applications have increased in the last three weeks, they still number less than 300,000. This is considered to be the threshold, indicating that the improvement in the labor market is continuing.
On the other hand, the U.S. real estate market saw the biggest decline in the last one-and-a-half years with a decrease of 11.4 percent in March. According to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, first-hand real estate sales decreased by 11.4 percent in March to 481,000, which is the worst performance since July 2013 while expectations were around 515,000. First-hand real estate sales data were revised from 539,000 to 543,000 for February. The sales in February reached the highest level in the last seven years.
On the other hand, second-hand real estate sales increased by 6.1 percent, which is the highest increase in the last one-and-a-half years. Economists have said that the sale of first-hand properties was the highest in the last seven years, but lower than expectations for March, indicating a slowdown in improvement in the sector.