Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

In each Economic Update, the Research staff analyzes recently released economic indicators and addresses what these indicators mean for REALTORS® and their clients. Today’s update discusses construction jobs.

  • Construction job hires fell in March from the prior month. But the number of layoffs in the sector declined even more, thereby resulting in a slight net increase in the overall employment in the construction industry.
  • Even better news is that the number of construction job openings rose in March, implying more hires in the upcoming months. No doubt, rises in home sales are beginning to make an impact on construction jobs.
  • Related to the broader economy, the number of job openings is on the rise. This should make it a tad less stressful for job hunters. But for those with jobs already, they should not feel totally comfortable because the number of job separations are also on the rise. Part of job separation could be voluntary as existing workers seek out better jobs.
  • Home sales are somewhat dependent on people finding a new job and relocating. The rise in both job hires and job separations will therefore be a positive for home sales. The job dynamism is also good for the broader economy as people move into jobs that are demanded in the ever-changing free market economy.
  • On separate news, the home price index from CoreLogic squeezed out a small gain of 0.6% in March. This closing price would reflect negotiations from late last year. Home price measurements are therefore a big lagging indicator and do not reflect what may be happening in May.  Listing prices, which have been on the rise based on data, suggest home price measurements will show an even stronger positive gain for May, but we will only know of this in July and August. Idaho and North Dakota are the top gainers in March, but Arizona and Florida are close behind and ready to take the lead in a few months.

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