In a year of political uncertainty, the release of any jobs report is polarizing. Political figures and armchair policy wonks will read into the data as they wish, but not housing economists.
That’s who we look to in these times, because we all know that jobs is the cure-all for a recovering economy, but payroll growth slumped in September as the U.S. Labor Department reports that employers added only 156,000 jobs.
This fell short of the 172,000 originally projected by economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Hidden positives in the report
Dr. Ralph McLaughlin, Chief Economist at Trulia said, “While the September jobs report came in below expectations, the continued addition of jobs to the US economy will help buoy demand for homes, both on the for-sale and rental side of the market.”
He observed another positive hidden in the Labor Department result. “In addition, wage growth kicked up again, which will help bolster the savings of first-time homebuyers trying to scrape together a downpayment.”
Real estate remains unchanged
“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,” said NAR Chief Economist, Dr. Lawrence Yun.
Yun adds that “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.”
Pointing out that the data is being “digested” through the perspective of the upcoming election, Dr. Yun notes that, “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.”
Dr. Yun observes, “There will surely be a big divergent voting patterns among men versus women and among those with college education and those without in November.”