Each day the Research staff takes a look at recently released economic indicators, addressing what these indicators mean for REALTORS® and their clients. Today’s update discusses job gains.
- Job gains are gathering momentum. The net new jobs in February are up by 227,000, a strong gain. Data for previous months was revised up to show 223,000 net new jobs in December and 284,000 in January. That’s a total of 734,000 in the past three months.
- Coming out of a harsh recession, when the economy lost 8 million jobs, the economy has now added 3.4 million jobs from the low point of early 2010. We are now almost halfway to a full jobs recovery.
- The unemployment rate did not change despite the job gain because labor force participation went up. Only those who are seeking work but do not yet have a job can be officially counted as unemployed. What is happening now is that previously discouraged jobless people who had been out of the labor force are now seeking work.
- Jobs in home construction went up by 2,000 but jobs in the constructing specialty trade fell by 2,000. However, based on the trend of rising housing starts, these jobs will be rising in the upcoming months as well.
- Jobs at apartment rental leasing offices rose by 3,000, indicating a rising demand for rentals. A good recovery in Professional Business Service jobs assures a steady rise demand for office spaces.
- The recent recession hit men much harder in terms of the unemployment rate. Now because of the job gains, the unemployment rates between the sexes have matched up, though they are still elevated compared to normal.
- Overall, there are very good jobs figures in February. More jobs will mean an increased demand for rental housing and for home buying. Both can rise simultaneously. The weak economy of several years ago forced people to double up, with many young adults living with parents. But an improved economy will act as a release in the household formation such that both demand for rental and ownership can rise.
- Jobs trend by different sectors are shown below.