CHICAGO — MID-MARCH FOUND THE STOCK MARKET posting its best day of the year, with the Dow Jones closing at its highest level since 2007 and the Nasdaq composite closing above 3,000 for the first time since December 2000.
While the unemployment rate held steady at 8.3%—a three-year low—the number of private-sector jobs continued to increase. With a jump of 233,000 jobs in February, more than 3.9 million jobs have been added to the U.S. workforce.
“We’ve had 24 straight months of private-sector job growth,” says Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. “U.S. job growth over the last six months has been the strongest since before the recession began in 2006.” Experts say, however, that it will take another five years to gain pre-recession employment figures.
MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS WERE DOWN for the week ending March 2, decreasing 1.2% from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Along with that news, RealtyTrac showed new foreclosures were up 2.89% from December 2011 to January 2012.