06/09/2016 06:28 EDT | Updated 06/10/2017 01:12 EDT

Average US 30-year mortgage rate slips to 3.60 per cent

WASHINGTON — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week after three straight weeks of increases. The drop followed a surprisingly weak employment report that deepened doubts about the economy.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 3.60 per cent from 3.66 per cent last week. That is well below its level a year ago of 4.04 per cent.

The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages declined to 2.87 per cent from 2.92 per cent.

The government reported Friday that hiring in May slowed to a near-standstill. While unemployment slid from 5 per cent to 4.7 per cent, the lowest since November 2007, the rate fell for a troubling reason: Nearly a half-million jobless Americans stopped looking for work and so were no longer counted as unemployed.