Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Instant Reaction: Jobs, June 7, 2024

Job additions are continuing at a healthy clip. A net of 272,000 payroll jobs were added to the economy in May, which is an acceleration from recent months. However, unemployment ticked higher, to 4.0%, due to a different measurement showing a net 408,000 jobs having disappeared when based on a household survey rather than a company survey. Wage growth of 4.1% is respectable and better than the 3.4% consumer price inflation. Americans, however, have not shown recognition, according to many polls, of an improving economy, which no doubt is due to the fact that the cumulative rise in consumer prices is still higher than the cumulative wage gain of the past 4 years.

Payroll data is considered much more reliable than household survey data. That is why Wall Street is expecting a further delay in the Fed's interest rate cut. The mortgage rate looks to be stuck at near 7% average for at least another month.

Bar graph: Total Payroll Jobs, January 2020 to May 2024
Bar graph: Monthly Net Payroll Job Additons, January 2022 to May 2024
Bar graph: Monthly Net Household Job Additions, January 2022 to May 2024
Line graph: Unemployment Rate, January 2000 to January 2024
Line graph: Wage Gain and CPI, January 2021 to May 2024
U.S. Map: Job Gains Since Pre-COVID Record-high Payroll Employment, March 2020 to April 2024