Weekly Economic Report 03.19.19

KEY MARKET INDICATORS as of Mar 19, 2019

Job Openings and Labor Market Turnover, New Home Sales

Job Market: The Job Openings and Labor Market turnover Survey shows a very tight labor market in January. The tighter labor market has created more opportunities for people looking for work. There were 7.6 million job openings in January, 1 million more than 12 months ago. The number of available workers looking for work has not increased during the same period. For each job opening, there was 0.9 unemployed worker looking for work in January. The tighter labor market has also increased the number of workers quiting their jobs. The quits rate, which measures the percentage of employees quiting in a given month was 2.3% in January, close to the peaks in 2001 and 2005. For the housing market, the acceleration in wage growth during the past 12 months is a positive for existing borrowers and should help them meet monthly mortgage payment. For potential homebuyers, this puts upward pressure on interest rates. Over time, greater turnover in the labor market should also result in more relocations and help drive turnover in the housing market.

New Home Sales: Sales of new homes decreased by 6.9% m/m to 607,000 units (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in January. Over the last 12 months, new home sales decreased by around 6%, with all of the falls coming from the Midwest and the Northeast. The year-over-year decline in January is similar in magnitude to the decline in Q4, suggesting that lower interest rates and incentives have stabilized the market for new homes for now.

Tian Liu, Genworth Mortgage Insurance Chief Economist
919 807.9584

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Disclaimer: Opinions, estimates and projections in this report constitute the current judgment of the author as of the date of this report. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Genworth Mortgage Insurance and are subject to change without notice. Genworth Mortgage Insurance has no obligation to provide revised assessments and assumes no duty to update information in the event of changed circumstances. While we have gathered this information from sources believed to be reliable, Genworth Mortgage Insurance cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided. Certain data discussed in this report is publicly available only on a time delayed basis. Genworth Mortgage Insurance strives to analyze data as it becomes available, but makes no representation that all data is reviewed immediately upon release. 

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