“The job market continues to make progress in October with 531,000 net new jobs. Since coming out of lockdown 18 million jobs have been created, but total jobs are still 4 million below the level seen before the arrival of COVID-19. The unemployment rate is low, at 4.6%. However, 3 million fewer Americans are searching for jobs and they are not being captured in unemployment statistics. Some older workers may have decided to permanently retire early.
“Employment at rental-leasing companies rose by 6,900. Boosting the supply of homes requires more construction workers and while 12,000 additional were working in home building or as contractors, more are clearly needed. There are worker shortages everywhere: at construction sites, at warehouses, at restaurants, at factories, and on and on. Small businesses with thin margins are finding it especially difficult to hire as they cannot readily compete with higher wages. The only notable exception is in REALTOR® membership, which is hitting new highs with each passing month. It is a tough and fiercely competitive market with innumerable alternative business models. Naturally, some will not make it past five years in the business. Yet, the entrepreneurial spirit lives on in taking on the risks and reaping the rewards.”