Jobless claims rose by 4,000 filings for the week ending April 13, dampening market optimism created by a 42,000 decline in filings a week ago.
In the most recent period, 352,000 unemployment claims were filed, up from a revised 348,000 a week ago.
The four-week moving average – which is a more accurate measure of the market’s current cycle – rose by 2,750 claims to 361,250 total filings for unemployment benefits.
Jobless claims fluctuate each week, making each report less inclined to provide exact data on long-term trends. But one trend that is occurring alongside the lackluster job market is the nation's rising home price indices.
Since the nation's long-term unemployment rate has a direct impact on housing, Fitch Ratings is refusing to be as optimistic about today's increasing home prices, even calling them overvalued.
The ratings giant released a research note, saying its "view on U.S. home prices remains unmoved despite the continued rise in the Case-Shiller index."
The firm added, "The agency continues to believe national prices are overvalued by roughly 10% in real terms and 2% nominally (after taking into account inflation and price momentum)."
As to why Fitch is taking this more modest approach in forecasting home prices, the firm said key economic indicators tied to housing are not "moving in sync with the rise in prices."
One of those key indicators is the nation’s unemployment situation.
"Fitch's home price view is less optimistic than other market projections due to the weak unemployment picture," the ratings giant said.
"Labor force participation is at a 30-year low, despite the improvement in the headline unemployment rate. Adjusting for the low participation rate, unemployment is around 10% nationally."
With the first-time homebuyer segment yet to return in full force, Fitch is keeping price expectations modest.
Fitch added, "Young workers have been hardest hit, having dropped out of the labor force in far greater numbers than other demographics, which will impact demand in the long term."