Many this week are still digesting last week’s economic news and real estate investors are wondering what the long term implications are. Three key pieces of data, the unemployment report, non-farm payroll jobs and first time unemployment claims provided us with some contradictory informationeconomic reports still mixed.

Yes, the unemployment rate dropped from 6.7 to 6.3 percent but that was largely caused by the number of workers who left the labor market. According to recent data, 880,000 people quit working causing the labor participation rate to fall to records last seen in 3.5 decades. So is this week helping to clear the fog somewhat? Is there any guidance in this usually benign collection of government data?

When interest rates pick up, and they will it just depends upon when, financing costs for real estate investors will rise along with mortgage rates for home buyers, leaving a smaller available pool of buyers for investors who buy and flip.

Looking at this week’s reports, non-farm productivity, which measures the goods and services produced by each worker fell by 1.7 percent, largely attributed to higher wage costs. And again, so far it’s the weather that is producing these disappointing numbers. Mind you, these reports aren’t catastrophic but economists are looking for sustained trends and so far it’s almost like a roller coaster ride. Albeit a ride with modest inclines.

And today, first time unemployment claims fell sharply to 319,000 from the 325,000 reported the previous week. While the number is still above 300,000 it’s much better than last week’s count. Today, there are 2.68 million workers collecting unemployment benefits.

Some say that we need to inject more cash into the economy but the Fed has been making record purchases with its QE program and so far with marginal results. What’s needed just might be a good dose of strong consumer confidence over the next several months along with a respectable housing market this season. If we can get those two things together we just might see a bigger light at the end of the tunnel and a good dose of market clarity.