The U.S. added 225,000 jobs in January 2020, far surpassing the expectation of 158,000. November and December employment reports were revised upward by a combined 5,000 jobs, putting the three-month average at 211,000 per month. The unemployment rate edged up to 3.6% due to an increase in the labor force participation rate to 63.4%.
U.S. employers added 138,000 jobs in May—well below the consensus forecast of 185,000 jobs. March and April figures were revised downward by 66,000. The unemployment rate fell to 4.3%—its lowest level since 2001—but the labor force participation rate dropped to 62.7%.
U.S. employers added 98,000 jobs in March—well short of the consensus expectation for 180,000. Seasonal weather factors are partially to blame: Mild winter weather in January and February boosted job growth well above 200,000, and late-season snowstorms contributed to the poor number in March. All told, it was a solid first quarter...
With weakness in most segments, February retail sales disappointed. Delayed tax refunds and immigration policy may have contributed to the weak retail sales—the latter a particular source of concern for retailers in markets with large immigrant populations. Policy on immigration and the economy may represent the greatest risk to retail markets over the coming quarters.
Upward pressure on cap rates is expected, muted by strong capital flows from foreign and domestic institutional investors. CRE fundamentals remain strong overall, and improved business and consumer confidence may lead to enhanced late-cycle tenant demand.
February’s jobs report was strong, with excellent headline numbers, good wage growth and rising labor force participation. Nothing in this report should give the Fed pause about raising rates next week.
Concern about a slowdown in consumer spending can go on the back burner, thanks to recently revised data from the BEA. The latest release shows significantly better Q3 personal consumption growth (2.8%) that was initially estimated (2.1%).