Labor – The Missing Piece in the Housing Market

The missing piece in the housing market, according to Ali Wolf, chief economist at Zonda, the housing market research and real estate analytics firm, is labor. In this week’s COVID-19 Update Webinar, Wolf points out that, labor stands as a focal weak point next to the strengths of low mortgage rates, favorable demographics, thriving stock market, home equity, and working from home. “The economy does continue to grow, just at a slower rate,” says Wolf. At a rate of 245,000 jobs per month, the economy would need 3.3 more years to fully recover. Wolf attributes the inequities between the economy and the labor market to the K-shaped recovery, which has benefited investors, improved home equity, and left millions of Americans unemployed. While the headline unemployment rate has fallen to 6.7%, a marked improvement over earlier in the year, this does not include the 4.1 million individuals who have left the labor force. If that number is included, the unemployment rate trends closer to 9%.

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