3/21: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Over one million open jobs compared to unemployed persons in January

The number of job openings rose 1.4 percent in January to 7.58 million, versus 6.53 million unemployed. At the same time, the number of new hires and separations both rose 1.5 percent.



February industrial production edges up from January, also up 3.5 percent year-on-year

Industrial production edged up 0.1 percent in February after decreasing 0.4 percent in January, but was still up 3.5 percent year-on-year.  Capacity utilization for the industrial sector edged down 0.1 percentage point in February to 78.2 percent, a rate that is 1.6 percentage points below its long-run (1972-2018) average.



Applications rise 1.6 percent, rates drop back to lowest level in 13 months

The Market Composite Index increased 1.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans rising 0.3 percent and refinance activity up 4.0 percent. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.55 percent from 4.64 percent, the lowest since last February.