What a dismal jobs report means for the housing market

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April was supposed to be the month that proved America’s economy had definitively kicked back into full gear. After all, roughly one million jobs were added in March, roughly 40% of the population had achieved vaccination, and key sectors of the economy planned large-scale reopenings. Instead, the U.S. Labor Department reported that a mere 266,000 new jobs were created in April, far below projections. HousingWire spoke to housing market economists and mortgage industry veterans to get their take on how they believe the jobs report will impact the mortgage and housing industries.

April’s jobs numbers were so disappointing that the U.S Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s largest lobbying group, even called for an end to the $300-a-week federal unemployment benefits, claiming that people being paid not to work were keeping consumers from returning to the labor force.

While some on Capitol Hill scratched their heads over the lackluster numbers that kicked off the second quarter, economists within the housing industry noted that the economy that was still poised for significant growth.

Some speculated that the previous month’s report was impacted by seasonal adjustments. April is typically a robust month for job gains, but the normal seasonal pattern of employment has been greatly disrupted over the past year. Regardless, a gain is a gain, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported nearly eight million jobs are open for those seeking to reenter the market. The difficulty is getting the right people to find the right job.

“Recent weeks have seen increasing reports that employers are having difficulties filling open positions,” said Mike Fratantoni, senior vice president and chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association. “Additionally, supply chain challenges across the economy are likely impeding the pace of activity and pushing up input costs for many employers. We continue to expect robust job growth and housing demand through the remainder of the year, but this report suggests that the rate of improvement in the job market is going to be much less consistent than other indicators would suggest.”

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