3/10/2023 – MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY


December job openings fall 3.6 percent to 10.8 million versus 5.1 million unemployed

The number of job openings fell 3.6% from December to 10.8 million, while hires rose 1.9% to 6.4 million.

Quits fell 5.1% to 3.9 million, although the ratio of quits to open jobs remained at 36%. While the number of open jobs vs. officially unemployed fell 6.9% to 5.1 million, the ratio of jobs/unemployed person fell by half (3.2%) to 1.9.


Private sector employment rises by 242,000 in February, wages up 7.2 percent year-on-year

Private sector employment rose 242,000 in February versus 106,000 in January. 21% of jobs were in good-producing industries, although construction lost 16,000 as builders finish up projects and delay starting new ones. 79% of jobs were in service-producing industries, with losses of 36,000 in professional/business services.

Although wages grew 7.2% year-on-year, the boost was nearly double for job changers.


Purchase loan applications up 7 percent from previous week, down 42 percent year-on-year

The Market Composite Index for mortgage applications increased 7.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans rising 7 percent (but down 42 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity rising 9 percent (but down 76 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.79 percent, the highest level since November 2022 and 270 basis points higher than a year ago.