6/7: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

May planned job cuts up 46 percent from April and 86 percent year-on-year

U.S.-based employers announced plans to cut 58,577 jobs from their payrolls in May, up 46 percent from April and 86 percent year-on-year.   So far this year, employers have announced 289,010 job cuts, up 39 percent year-on-year.



1Q 2019 productivity rose 2.4 percent year-on-year, highest increase since 2010

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 3.4 percent in the first quarter of 2019, as output increased 3.9 percent and hours worked increased 0.5 percent.  From the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019, productivity increased 2.4 percent, reflecting a 3.9-percent increase in output and a 1.5-percent increase in hours worked.  The four-quarter increase in productivity is the largest since a 2.7-percent gain in the third quarter of 2010.



Mortgage applications edge up 1.5 percent, rates dip again to lowest rate since early 2018

The Market Composite Index increased 1.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling 2.0 percent but refinance activity rising 6.0 percent due to lower rates.   The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate decreased to 4.23 percent from 4.33 percent, or the lowest rate since the first week of 2018.