Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Instant Reaction: Jobs, September 2, 2022

The job additions continued in August irrespective of whether the economy is in a recession or not. But the latest monthly gain of 315,000 net new jobs is slower than the average of 503,000 average monthly gain in the prior 12 months. A bit of good news is that the number of people entering the labor force grew by 786,000. It is much better to have an unemployed person searching for a job than be out of the labor force completely. That is why the unemployment rate increased to 3.7% from 3.5%, even as jobs were being added. This trend can also tame inflationary pressure as more workers increase the supply of goods and services, which in turn could lessen the upward pressure on mortgage rates.

The average wage rate rose by 5.2% to $32.36 per hour, still well below consumer price inflation of 8.5%, which largely explains the weak consumer confidence. The construction industry surprisingly added jobs even as homebuilding activity fell. That could mean builders could quickly ramp up production if housing demand returns.

Bar graph: Consumer Prices, January 2020 to August 2022
Bar graph: Monthly Payroll Jobs, January 2021 to August 2022
Bar graph: Payroll Jobs, January 2020 to July 2022
Bar graph: Labor Force Participation Rate January 2020 to August 2022
Bar graph: Unemployment Rate January 2020 to July 2022