Weekly Economic Report 04.08.19

KEY MARKET INDICATORS as of Apr 08, 2019

March Job Market Report

The U.S. job market rebounded in March after a disappointing February, adding 196,000 jobs. In the first quarter, job growth averaged 180,000 a month, which is well-below last year’s pace, but similar to the pace of job growth in 2016 and 2017.  The job market continued to be tight, with the unemployment rate unchanged from February at 3.8%.  The tight job market has increased pressure on wages in the past year, but wage growth eased slightly in March to 3.2% y/y growth (vs. 3.3% in February). Faster wage growth is a double-edged sword, benefiting workers but also creating cost pressure for businesses. So faster wage growth will likely create more inflationary pressure, and
also force businesses to look for efficiency gains.

Job growth in March was led by education and health (+70,000), leisure and hospitality (+33,000), and professional and business services (+37,000). Three sectors – retail, wholesale, and manufacturing reported fewer jobs in March. Despite the slowdown in the housing market, construction remains the fastest growing sector for jobs, with the number of jobs growing at twice the rate as the overall economy. The construction sector added 16,000 jobs in March.

Over the past two months, we have seen a slower employment growth in the 25-44 age group, the age group most likely to buy a home for the first time. The year-over-year growth rate for the 25-34 age group has slowed to 1.7% in the past two months (vs. 2.6% in 2017) and the growth rate for the 35-44 age group has slowed to 1.5% (vs. 2.3% in 2017).

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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