Fewer Americans filed for jobless claims during the week ending January 28, which could result in a greater number of households being able to make their mortgage payments and reduce the number of foreclosed houses across the country.
According to a report from the Labor Department, jobless claims declined by 3 percent during the week to an estimated 367,000. The previous week, there were 379,000 claims filed.
The number of claims filed was slightly less than previous estimates. Prior to the release of the report, a survey of analysts conducted by Econoday expected there to 370,000 new jobless claims during the week after a range of estimates between 345,000 and 400,000.
Meanwhile, a number of industry experts noted that a jobless claims rate below 400,000 is an indicator of a strengthening economy since job growth is expanding. The more households that are able to maintain employment states may be able to take advantage of President Barack Obama's recently announced program that will allow qualified borrowers to refinance their mortgages into lower rates.
"No more red tape. No more runaround from the banks," the president said during a speech in Falls Church, Virginia. "And a small fee on the largest financial institutions will make sure that it doesn't add to our deficit."
Additionally, the president added that the plan could save some households an estimated $3,000 per year in mortgage payments.