CNN just reported that the national unemployment rate keeps improving, with 7.7% reported as the latest number. Oregon is doing a little worse, with 8.3% reported as the most recent figure. Data for Lane County is lagging a bit, but as of December, we’re a little under 8%, which is a vast improvement from 13+% at the depths of the recent Great Recession. An improving employment picture is good for a number of reasons. However, when unemployment gets to about 6.5%, mortgage interest rates will probably rise because the Fed’s monetary policies will change.