MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
Employment rose by 199,000 in December as unemployment rate falls to 3.9 percent
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by just 199,000 in December, while the unemployment rate declined to 3.9 percent. Employment continued to trend up in leisure and hospitality, in professional and business services, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation and warehousing. The labor force participation rate was unchanged at 61.9 percent in December but remains 1.5 percentage points lower than in February 2020.
Consumer credit use soars at 11 percent annual rate in November
In November, consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 11.0 percent, up sharply from the previous month as consumer continued to rebound in time for the holidays. Revolving credit (such as for credit cards) increased at an annual rate of 23.4 percent, while nonrevolving credit (such as for cars and tuition) increased at an annual rate of 7.2 percent.
Wage inflation for residential building workers jumps to highest annual rate since early 2019
During the COVID-19 pandemic recession in March and April 2020, average hourly earnings for residential building workers rose about 2%, compared to a year ago. Since June 2020, average hourly earnings’ year-over-year growth rates for residential building workers have trended up and reached 8% in October 2021, the highest year-over-year gain since February 2019.