“The job market continues to make progress, with nearly a million more employed in the latest month. Compared to the peak employment of the pre-pandemic period, another 5.7 million jobs are still needed, which could happen by the end of the year or in early 2022. Job openings are plentiful, with a record high of 9.2 million ‘help wanted’ signs. The unemployment rate is low at 5.4%, down from the peak of 14.8% in April of 2020 when the economy was locked down. Wages are rising, but a tad below the inflation rate: 4.0% versus 5.4% respectively.
As continuous job gains occur with each passing month, the number of people able to make rent payments should be rising. But for those who are unable, rental assistance is plentiful but not being fully utilized. Aside from the constitutionality of private property rights, the right to evict will force those renters to seek out rental subsidies. Rents in the meantime may rise because of the jobs recovery. Rent growth had decelerated during the pandemic: down from 4% to 2%. However, with apartment vacancy rates falling, rent growth is likely to go back up to 4% if not more. More supply is required to make rent growth manageable. In the long run, extending the eviction moratorium will lead to an even greater housing shortage and to rents rising faster for those paying the rent.”