EconUpdate by P. Duffy

EconUpdate by P. Duffy

Job growth slips to 266,000 in April, unemployment rate edges back up to 6.1 percent

What does this mean?  A sharp loss in temporary jobs and a big gain in hospitality indicates an economy rebounding unevenly, but continuing to improve.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 266,000 in April, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.1 percent. Notable job gains in leisure and hospitality, other services, and local government education were partially offset by employment declines in temporary help services and in couriers and messengers.


Employment Trend Index up 2.27 percent in April and 45.7 percent year-on-year

What does this mean?  Various indicators suggest a temporary slowdown in job growth as employers grapple with recruiting, a higher quits rate, and rising wage demand.

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index™ (ETI) significantly increased 2.27 percent in April, after an increase in March, and is up 45.7 percent from a year ago.  A slew of indicators measuring recruiting difficulties, quit rates, and wage growth suggest the US economy is experiencing an historical, though probably temporary, labor shortage. Among the shortage’s many effects, it may put a damper on job growth.


Demand for second homes in April holding at more than double pre-pandemic levels

What does this mean?  Many wealthier homebuyers are betting that more liberal remote work policies will remain in place after the pandemic has ended.

The number of buyers who locked in mortgage rates for second homes soared 178% year over year in April, marking the 11th straight month of 80%-plus growth. Although this jump is likely exaggerated because demand for second homes dropped 24% year over year last April, second-home mortgage rate locks are holding steady at more than double pre-pandemic levels.