MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
A record number of employees quit their jobs in November as “The Great Reshuffle” continues
The number of job openings decreased 4.8% to 10.6 million on the last business day of November. Hires rose 2.9% to 6.7 million and total separations increased 6.5% to 6.3 million. Within separations, quits rose 8.9% to 4.5 million (a series high) and the quits rate increased to 3.0 percent, matching a series high last seen in September. Due to higher quits and more people coming off the sidelines to look for jobs, the overhang of job openings vs. the officially unemployed edged up 0.4% to 3.7 million in November.
December manufacturing sector index slips 2.4 points to 58.7 as challenges build
The December Manufacturing PMI® registered 58.7 percent, a decrease of 2.4 percentage points from the November reading of 61.1 percent. This figure indicates expansion in the overall economy for the 19th month in a row after a contraction in April 2020. Although there are indications of improvements in labor resources and supplier delivery performance, shortages of critical lowest-tier materials, high commodity prices and difficulties in transporting products continue to plague reliable consumption.
Purchase loan apps fall 4 percent from two weeks ago, down 12 percent year-on-year
The Market Composite Index for mortgage apps decreased 2.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from two weeks earlier, with purchase loans falling 4 percent (and down 12 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity falling 2 percent (and down 40 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.33 percent from 3.31 percent.