3/26/21: EconUpdate by P. Duffy

EconUpdate by P. Duffy


Initial unemployment claims drop 12.4 percent to lowest level in over a year

What does this mean? As the economy continues to re-open, employees are returning to work, but it’s going to take more time to return to pre-pandemic employment levels.

In the week ending March 20, initial unemployment claims were 684,000, the lowest level prior to the pandemic, and a decrease of 97,000, or 12.4 percent, from the previous week’s revised level. Continued claims during the week ending March 13 were 3,870,000, a decrease of 264,000, or 6.4 percent, from the previous week’s revised level.  The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending March 6 was 18,952,795, an increase of 733,862, or 4.0 percent, from the previous week.


In report to Congress, Fed Chair underscores need for continued support as economy mends

What does this mean? While the CARES Act and other support avoided an even worse economic collapse, the Federal Reserve is committed to supporting the labor market until it has recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

While the economic fallout has been real and widespread, the worst was avoided by swift and vigorous action—from Congress and the Federal Reserve, from across government and cities and towns, and from individuals, communities, and the private sector. But the recovery is far from complete, so, at the Fed, we will continue to provide the economy the support that it needs for as long as it takes.


Over 31 percent of Redfin users were looking at moving to a different metro area in early 2021

What does this mean? The share of residents looking to move to another metro area may remain elevated even after the pandemic has ended.

Nationwide, 31.2% of Redfin users looked to move to a different metro in January and February, up from 26.1 percent during the same time period last year and the highest share since Redfin started tracking migration in 2017. Phoenix, Austin, Las Vegas, Dallas and Miami had the biggest net inflows of users of any major metro in the U.S. in January and February.


30 percent of homebuyers surveyed by NAHB prefer outlying suburbs post-pandemic

What does this mean? The share of homebuyers preferring an outlying suburb may remain elevated even after the pandemic has ended.

Prior to COVID-19, 26% of buyers wanted to buy a home in an outlying suburb; since the beginning of the pandemic, that share is now 30%. On the other hand, each of the other location options saw small declines or no change at all in preference.