The Latest Unemployment Report: Slow and Steady Improvement

Dated: August 11 2020

Views: 223

The Latest Unemployment Report: Slow and Steady Improvement

The Latest Unemployment Report: Slow and Steady Improvement | MyKCM

Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its latest Employment Situation Summary. Going into the release, the expert consensus was for 1.58 million jobs to be added in July, and for the unemployment rate to fall to 10.5%.

When the official report came out, it revealed that 1.8 million jobs were added, and the unemployment rate fell to 10.2% (from 11.1% last month). Once again, this is excellent news as this was the third consecutive month the unemployment rate decreased.The Latest Unemployment Report: Slow and Steady Improvement | MyKCMThere is, however, still a long way to go before the job market fully recovers. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) put a potential date on that recovery:

“July’s payroll growth, at 1.8 million, still leaves total payrolls 12.9 million lower than in February. And yet if job gains continued at July’s pace, that deficit will be erased by March 2021. If payrolls reclaim their last peak in 13 months, that would be remarkably fast. It took more than six years after the last recession.”

Permanent vs. Temporary Unemployment

During a pandemic, it’s important to differentiate those who have lost their jobs on a temporary basis from those who have lost them on a permanent basis. Morgan Stanley economists noted in the same WSJ article:

“The rate of churn in the labor market remains incredibly high, but a notable positive detail in this month's report was the downtick in the rate of new permanent layoffs.”

To address this, the core unemployment rate becomes increasingly important. It identifies the number of people who have permanently lost their jobs. This measure subtracts temporary layoffs and adds unemployed who did not search for a job recently. Jed Kolko, Chief Economist at Indeed and the founder of the index reported:

“Core unemployment fell in July for the first time in the pandemic. That's the good news I was hoping for.”

What about the housing market?

The housing market has continued to show tremendous resilience during the pandemic. Commenting on the labor report, Robert Dietz, Chief Economist for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), tweeted:

“Housing continues to rebound in another positive labor market report. Home builder and remodeler job gains of 24K for July. Residential construction employment down just 56.4K compared to a year ago. Total residential construction employment at 2.85 million.”

Bottom Line

We should remain cautious in our optimism, as the recovery is ultimately tied to our future success in mitigating the ongoing health crisis. However, as Mike Fratantoni, Chief Economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, reminds us“The pace of job growth slowed in July, but the gains over the past three months represent an impressive rebound during the ongoing economic challenges brought forth by the pandemic."

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Jeffrey Daniels does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Jeffrey Daniels will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

Latest Blog Posts

Pop Quiz: Can You Define These Key Terms in Today’s Housing Market? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Pop Quiz: Can You Define These Key Terms in Today’s Housing Market? [INFOGRAPHIC]Some HighlightsThe language of buying and selling a home may sound scary at first, but knowing how key terms

Read More

Today’s Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends

Today’s Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key TrendsAs we move into the second half of the year, one thing is clear: the current real estate market is one for the record books. The exact

Read More

3 Charts That Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble

3 Charts That Show This Isn’t a Housing BubbleWith home prices continuing to deliver double-digit increases, some are concerned we’re in a housing bubble like the one in 2006. However, a

Read More

What You Should Do Before Interest Rates Rise

What You Should Do Before Interest Rates RiseIn today’s real estate market, mortgage interest rates are near record lows. If you’ve been in your current home for several years and haven

Read More