In October, the unemployment rate decreased in 34 U.S. states, increased in 5 states, and was unchanged in 11 states.
The unemployment rate is higher than a year ago in 5 states: Iowa (4.5% vs 4.4%), Wyoming (4.7% vs 4.5%), Louisiana (6.2% vs 5.8%), West Virginia (6.5% vs 6.3%), and Alaska (6.8% vs 6.6%).
Recall that the national jobless rate in October was 5.8%.
Total distance traveled by vehicles on all U.S. roads and streets were an estimated 246.6 billion miles in September, the Department of Transportation reports. This is a 2.3% increase from the 241.0 billion miles traveled in September of 2013.
The rolling 12 month total of vehicle miles driven is 2.982 trillion miles. That is 1.9% below the high of 3.039 trillion miles in November of 2007.
The rolling 12 month total of vehicle miles driven per capita was 12.00 thousand. That is down 9.2% from the June 2005 high of 13.22 thousand miles per capita.
The map from the release shows that, year over year, travel increased in all 5 U.S. regions in September, rising the most in the west.
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.7%.
The core CPI, which excludes food and energy, increased 0.2% in October and is up 1.8% year over year.
The All Food index increased 0.1% in and is up 3.1% from a year ago. The All Energy index decreased 1.9% and is down 1.6% from a year ago.
The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.2% in October, seasonally adjusted. The index for final demand increased 1.5% for the 12 months ended in October.
The core PPI, which excludes food and energy, increased 0.4% in October and is up 1.8% from a year ago.
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 1.5% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.26 million. This annual rate is 2.5% higher than the 5.13 million-unit level in October 2013.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the housing market this year has been a tale of two halves. “Sales activity in October reached its highest annual pace of the year as buyers continue to be encouraged by interest rates at lows not seen since last summer, improving levels of inventory and stabilizing price growth,” he said. “Furthermore, the job market has shown continued strength in the past six months. This bodes well for solid demand to close out the year and the likelihood of additional months of year-over-year sales increases.”
“The growth in housing supply this year will likely prevent the drastic sales slowdown and coinciding spike in home prices we saw last winter due to low inventory,” says Yun. “However, more housing starts are needed to increase supply, meet current demand and keep price growth in check.”
The existing home sales rate in 3 of the 4 U.S. regions in September:
- Northeast: 0.71 million from 0.69 million month prior.
- Midwest: 1.24 million from 1.18 million month prior.
- South: 2.17 million from 2.11 million month prior.
- West: 1.14 million from 1.20 million month prior.
Total housing inventory at the end of October decreased 2.6% to 2.22 million existing homes available for sale. That represents a 5.1 month supply at the current sales pace. Unsold inventory is 5.2% above a year ago, when there were 2.11 million existing homes available for sale.
The median time on market for all homes was 63 days in October. That is up from 56 days in September. Short sales were on the market for a median of 150 days, while foreclosures typically sold in 68 days, and non-distressed homes took 61 days. 33% of homes sold in October were on the market for less than a month.
The national median existing home price for all housing types was $208,300, up 5.5% from a year ago.
Initial jobless claims for the week ending November 15 were a seasonally adjusted 291k, down from the prior week’s revised reading of 293k. Not seasonally adjusted, jobless claims for the week were 285k.
Individual states that had changes in claims of more than 1k (not seasonally adjusted):
The 4-week moving average of initial jobless claims was 288k.
The number of unemployment insurance recipients, or continuing claims, for regular state programs was 2.330 million, down from the previous week’s revised reading of 2.403 million.
The insured unemployment rate, which is the number of unemployment insurance recipients as a share of covered employment, was 1.76%, down from 1.81% the week prior.
90.12% of all U.S. jobs are covered by state unemployment insurance programs.
Of the 8.995 million Americans currently unemployed, 25.90% receive unemployment insurance.
Jobless claims and the unemployment rate:
U.S. privately-owned housing starts in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.009 million. This is 2.8% below the revised September estimate of 1.038 million, and is 7.8% above the October 2013 rate of 0.936 million.
Single-family starts increased to an annual rate of 0.696 million from 0.668 million and multi-unit starts decreased to 0.313 million from 0.370 million.
U.S. industrial production decreased 0.1% in October after having increased 0.8% in September. At 104.9% of its 2007 average, total industrial production in October was 4.0% above its level of a year earlier.
The output of manufacturing increased 0.2% in October, production at mines decreased 0.9%, and output of utilities decreased 0.7%.
Capacity utilization for total industry decreased in October to 78.9%. That is 1.2% below its long-run (1972–2013) average.