The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to today’s September jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
“The latest jobs report shows a softening monthly trend with 156,000 net new jobs in September. Nonetheless, the year-over-year gains have been fairly steady, now showing 2.45 million new jobs over the past 12 months. The hourly wage rate is showing an upward trend with a 2.6% rise implying employers are competing for better workers. But the weekly earnings only grew 2.3% as people were employed for 34.4 hours per week compared to 34.6 one year ago. The construction industry added 218,000 jobs over the past year but still short by one million from a decade ago.The real estate brokerage-rental-leasing sector added 51,000 jobs.
Given no major surprise in the data, the national outlook for real estate market remains essentially unchanged, with home sales expected to squeak out slight gains in 2016 and 2017 while commercial building vacancy rates should continue to fall. With this data to be digested before the coming election, we should note that men have been underperforming as 68.4% of adults have jobs, down from historic norm of around 75%. Meanwhile, 55.8% of women have jobs, roughly matching the historic norms. Furthermore, among men, those with a college degree 72% of adults are working while only 54% of those with only a high school degree are working. There will surely be a big divergent voting patterns among men versus women and among those with college education and those without in November.”