You’ve read here how Fed Chair Janet Yellen has clearly stated the FOMC pays a lot of attention, probably more than any other measuring stick, to the unemployment report. April’s unemployment report was released last Friday and showed that the unemployment rate in fact dropped quite a bit fromfirst time unemployment claims 6.7 to 6.3 percent.

Month to month that’s a noticeable difference. But what else do those numbers say and what is the outlook for interest rates for real estate investors who are buying existing housing and building new rental properties?

The number of new jobs heralded for April stands right around 288,000. Compared to the past two years, that’s pretty good. That’s job growth. Or is it? There’s another report that comes out each Thursday called the First Time Unemployment Claims. For those that are fresh out of work and file for unemployment compensation that data is kept and reported. How many people filed for unemployment for the very first time last week? According to the Department of Labor, 344,000 people filed. This of course doesn’t include the self-employed who don’t pay into the unemployment compensation pool. If failed businesses were counted, there would be even more.

What about the week before last? What about the past four weeks? In addition to last week’s 344,000 tally, first time claims hit 330,000, 305,000 and 301,000. Add up those four weeks and you get 1,280,000.

Okay, compare that number to how many new jobs were created last month according to the Department of Labor. April created 288,000 jobs but there were also 1.2 million who filed for unemployment. Job creation is dynamic and takes into account jobs created as well as jobs lost and there is a net number. Yet behind the unemployment rate is how many people are unemployed for the very first time. No matter how you measure it, 1.2 million is a lot of people. At that pace, you can expect interest rates for all types of loans to remain low for quite some time.