Low Jobs Report, Labor Paradox, Rents Improve

At the Hard Rock Cafe in Cincinnati dealers are receiving a $4,000 incentive bonus. A Dunkin’ Donuts in Cincinnati is offering a $300 signing bonus. Across the country companies are desperate for workers. 40% of restaurants are understaffed right now – a McDonald’s in Tampa is advertising $50 to show up for an interview! Reasons for not going back to work include: covid fear, lack of childcare, getting more pay on government benefits, and low wages. Companies like Costco paying $16 minimum wage is having no problem hiring and retaining employees.

Rates – improved marginally this week as Mortgage Backed Securities continue to ride a steady price increase that started late March. Rates are down approximately 1/4% from this time last year.

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Jobs – the BLS Jobs Report for April came in lower than expected with only 266K job creations – almost 1/4 of the anticipated 1M job creations. March & February job gain numbers were also revised lower. The total unemployment, when you count all persons marginally attached to the labor force and part time employees that would prefer to be full time, is at approximately 10.4% of the workforce. Approximately 16.2M individuals are receiving some type of unemployment benefits.

Rents increased 1.9% over the last month in a nationwide survey making up for the previous declines in rent during the pandemic. Year over Year growth is at 2.3% which is line with previous years. Boise ID saw an impressive 5.2% growth in rent in the previous month and rents are up a staggering 23% year over year.

The Fed – has given no indication that they will taper their purchasing of Mortgage Backed Securities.

Mortgage Application volume decreased by 0.9% from the previous week. Purchase applications fell by 3% but are up 24% year over year (irrelevant number as last year we were on lockdown at this time). Refinances are down 17% year over year.

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