In November, the U.S. economy added a 211,000 new jobs to its roster, according to recently released news from the U.S. Department of Labor. While that number is a down step from the previous month, it shows enough continuous growth to turn the rumored Federal Reserve rate hike into an actuality. So how will this impact housing?
“Job creation is a very important leading indicator of strong demand for housing,” says Realtor.com chief Economist Jonathan Smoke. “The strong employment results for the last two years created an uptick in household formation, which drives demand for home purchases and rentals.”
So what else happened in November? Around 273,000 people joined the labor force, and the unemployment rate stayed strong at 5 percent, the lowest level in over 7 years. Additionally, wages continued to rise, with average hourly earnings up 4 cents to $25.25. Sure, that was down from a hearty 9-cent gain in October, but up is up, and over the past 12 months, hourly wages have risen a total of 2.3 percent.
“It is beginning to look a lot like higher rates this December,” says Smoke. “Our analysis of November data on realtor.com® indicates that the residential real estate market continues to follow the normal seasonal decline in demand as we head into the New Year. The median listing price remained fairly constant over last month, down just 1 percent to $230,000, but that still signified an increase of 7 percent year-over-year.”
“There is still more work ahead of us to ensure that all Americans have their hard work rewarded and enjoy the fruits of this recovery,” says U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Too many families are still struggling to keep their heads above water. We need to do more to raise their wages and increase their economic stability. We need to expand opportunity and ensure that the rising economic tide lifts all boats, not just the yachts.”
For more information about the November job numbers and read more of Secretary Perez’s comments, click here.