6/11: EconUpdate by P. Duffy

EconUpdate by P. Duffy

Initial unemployment claims fall another 2.4 percent, continued claims fall 6.9 percent

What does this mean? The more rapid decline in continued claims indicates a steady increase in job growth.

In the week ending June 5, initial unemployment claims were 376,000, a decrease of 9,000, or 2.4 percent, from the previous week’s unrevised level of 385,000. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. Continued claims during the week ending May 29 were 3,499,000, a decrease of 258,000, or 6.9 percent, from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since March 21, 2020 when it was 3,094,000.  The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending May 22 was 15,349,465, a decrease of 95,099, or 0.6 percent, from the previous week.


CPI up 0.6 percent in May and 5.0 percent year-on-year

What does this mean? Since the monthly rate of increase declined from April to May, this bout of inflation may be transitory.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.6 percent in May after rising 0.8 percent in April. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 5.0 percent before seasonal adjustment; this was the largest 12-month increase since a 5.4-percent increase for the period ending August 2008. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.7 percent in May after increasing 0.9 percent in April and was up  3.8 percent over the last 12-months, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending June 1992.


Home Building Geography Index shows suburban shift for multifamily construction

What does this mean? The shift to small metro areas and their suburbs noted for single-family homes is also evident for the multi-family sector.

The combined apartment market share for large core and suburban counties declined from 67 percent to 63.4 percent between the first quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. Suburban counties of large metro areas lost market share by a striking 1.1 percentage points in the first quarter alone, exemplifying the pandemic’s “great disruption” and its impact on housing preferences. Small metro (core and suburbs) saw gains for apartment construction from 24.7 percent to 27.1 percent as multifamily development moved to lower density areas. This gain came at the expense of large metro core and suburban counties.