KEY MARKET INDICATORS as of May 09, 2017
April Jobs Report
Summary – The job market rebounded in April. Employers added 211,000 jobs over the month, driving the overall unemployment rate to 4.4% – its lowest level since May 2007. In the last economic cycle, unemployment rate never went below this level. One would have to go back to early 2001 to see a lower level of unemployment rate. Tightening in the job market in the past few months have not resulted in faster wage growth, as average hourly earnings increased just 2.5% from a year earlier. For the Federal Reserve, the April jobs report is a greenlight to continue raising interest rates. But there were few signs of overheating in this jobs report that would warrant a faster pace of monetary tightening.
Among the major industries, leisure and hospitality, education and health, and professional business services had a good month, adding a combined 135,000 jobs in April. Hiring in construction slowed in April, and hiring in both retail and wholesale remained weak.
The job market continued to be very positive for potential first-time homebuyers. Unemployment rate for people in the primary homebuying age (25-34 and 35-44) fell to 4.0% in April, which was the lowest level since September 2007. It is also not far from the trough of 3.7% reached in the last economic cycle.
* FHFA Purchase-Only Home Price Index