Construction jobs boomed in March with 110,000 new additions, one of the largest monthly gains ever. This raises the prospect for more home building and more inventory reaching the market in the upcoming months. The housing market has been hot with fast-rising home prices but has been constrained by a lack of supply. By hiring more workers and building more homes, home prices will move to a manageable level to give more Americans a shot at ownership.
Aside from construction, the rest of the economy is also showing strong hiring trends. Nearly a million net new jobs were added overall. Commercial real estate practitioners should be heartened by 22,500 more retail trade jobs, now only 2.5% below the pre-pandemic levels. Financial activities and professional business service sectors added 82,000 jobs – jobs that in the past required office spaces. A big boost also came in the education sector with 64,400 job additions as more schools were opened, leading to previously laid-off cafeteria, janitorial, and school-bus workers getting paid.
The economy is solidly improving. We still need 8 million more jobs to get back to the pre-pandemic conditions, however. Rising vaccination numbers also mean more jobs ahead. The number of homeowners in the mortgage forbearance program will continue to fall. Housing demand looks to remain solid, and commercial real estate demand will steadily recover.