Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Instant Reaction: Jobs, December 3, 2021

"The unemployment rate continued to plunge and is now at 4.2%, which is actually below March 2020 levels when the ugly COVID virus came to the country. This measurement should be taken with a grain of salt, however, since many Americans are not showing up in the statistics. Only those who are searching for a job are counted. A better measure of employment conditions is the total number of people with jobs. Only 210,000 payroll jobs were added in November, and we are still down by 3.9 million from the peak seen before the pandemic. Moreover, based on normal population growth and young adults entering the workforce each year in a hypothetical world where the pandemic did not happen, America should have around 8 million more jobs now compared to the current situation. The hourly wage grew by 4.8%, a tad lower than the consumer price inflation rate.

The construction of buildings and the trade sector added 23,000 jobs, implying that a supply of more homes is in the pipeline. Rental and leasing service jobs fell by 1,400, even though rental demand has picked up sizably. REALTOR® membership is at an all-time high and continues to rise. In fact, the overall number of small businesses, which are less trackable in the early stage of data collection, could be rising. That is, more Americans want to be entrepreneurs as 1.1 million reported having a new job, which is much higher than the 210,000 as reported by company payroll data."