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Saturday, April 13, 2024

By Request: Public and Private Sector Payroll Jobs During Presidential Terms

by Calculated Risk on 4/13/2024 09:25:00 PM

Note: I used to post this monthly, but I stopped during the COVID-19 pandemic. I've received a number of requests lately to post this again, so here is another update of tracking employment during Presidential terms.  We frequently use Presidential terms as time markers - we could use Speaker of the House, Fed Chair, or any other marker.

Important: There are many differences between these periods. Overall employment was smaller in the '80s, however the participation rate was increasing in the '80s (younger population and women joining the labor force), and the participation rate is generally declining now.  But these graphs give an overview of employment changes.

The first graph shows the change in private sector payroll jobs from when each president took office until the end of their term(s). Presidents Carter, George H.W. Bush and Trump only served one term.

Mr. G.W. Bush (red) took office following the bursting of the stock market bubble and left during the bursting of the housing bubble. Mr. Obama (dark blue) took office during the financial crisis and great recession. There was also a significant recession in the early '80s right after Mr. Reagan (dark red) took office.

There was a recession towards the end of President G.H.W. Bush (light purple) term, and Mr. Clinton (light blue) served for eight years without a recession.   And there was a pandemic related recession in 2020.

First, here is a table for private sector jobs. The previous top two private sector terms were both under President Clinton.  

TermPrivate Sector
Jobs Added (000s)
Clinton 110,876
Clinton 210,094
Obama 29,926
Reagan 29,351
Reagan 15,363
Obama 11,907
GHW Bush1,507
GW Bush 2443
GW Bush 1-820
1After 38 months.

Private Sector Payrolls Click on graph for larger image.

The first graph is for private employment only.

Private sector employment increased by 9,039,000 under President Carter (dashed green), by 14,714,000 under President Reagan (dark red), 1,507,000 under President G.H.W. Bush (light purple), 20,970,000 under President Clinton (light blue), lost 377,000 under President G.W. Bush, and gained 11,833,000 under President Obama (dark dashed blue).  During Trump's term (Orange), the economy lost 2,135,000 private sector jobs.

In the first 38 months of President Biden's term (Blue), the economy has added 13,735,000 private sector jobs, as the economy recovered from the pandemic.

Public Sector Payrolls A big difference between the presidencies has been public sector employment.  Note: the bumps in public sector employment due to the decennial Census in 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2020. 

The public sector grew during Mr. Carter's term (up 1,304,000), during Mr. Reagan's terms (up 1,414,000), during Mr. G.H.W. Bush's term (up 1,127,000), during Mr. Clinton's terms (up 1,934,000), and during Mr. G.W. Bush's terms (up 1,744,000 jobs).  However, the public sector declined significantly while Mr. Obama was in office (down 263,000 jobs).  During Trump's term, the economy lost 528,000 public sector jobs.

In the first 38 months of President Biden's term, the economy has added 1,482,000 public sector jobs (about 93% of public job growth has been for state and local governments, and about 56% for education).

And a table for public sector jobs. Public sector jobs increased have increased the most during Biden's term, just ahead of the number during Reagan's 2nd term.  Public sector jobs declined the most during Obama's first term.

TermPublic Sector
Jobs Added (000s)
Reagan 21,438
Clinton 21,242
GHW Bush1,127
GW Bush 1900
GW Bush 2844
Clinton 1692
Obama 2447
Reagan 1-24
Obama 1-710
1After 36 months.

Real Estate Newsletter Articles this Week: Current State of the Housing Market

by Calculated Risk on 4/13/2024 02:11:00 PM

At the Calculated Risk Real Estate Newsletter this week:

Current State of the Housing Market; Overview for mid-April 2024

Part 2: Current State of the Housing Market; Overview for mid-April 2024

2nd Look at Local Housing Markets in March

An Update on the House Price Battle Royale: Low Inventory vs Affordability

1st Look at Local Housing Markets in March

This is usually published 4 to 6 times a week and provides more in-depth analysis of the housing market.

Schedule for Week of April 14, 2024

by Calculated Risk on 4/13/2024 08:11:00 AM

The key reports this week are March Retail Sales, Housing Starts and Existing Home Sales.

For manufacturing, the March Industrial Production report, and NY and Philly Fed surveys will be released this week.

----- Monday, April 15th -----

Year-over-year change in Retail Sales 8:30 AM: Retail sales for March is scheduled to be released.  The consensus is for a 0.3% increase in retail sales. 

This graph shows the year-over-year change in retail sales and food service (ex-gasoline) since 1993. Retail and Food service sales, ex-gasoline, increased by 2.0% on a YoY basis in February.

8:30 AM: The New York Fed Empire State manufacturing survey for April. The consensus is for a reading of -9.0, up from -20.9.

10:00 AM: The April NAHB homebuilder survey. The consensus is for a reading of 51, unchanged from 51.  Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

----- Tuesday, April 16th -----

Multi Housing Starts and Single Family Housing Starts8:30 AM ET: Housing Starts for March.

This graph shows single and multi-family housing starts since 1968.

The consensus is for 1.480 million SAAR, down from 1.521 million SAAR in February.

Industrial Production 9:15 AM: The Fed will release Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for March.

This graph shows industrial production since 1967.

The consensus is for a 0.4% increase in Industrial Production, and for Capacity Utilization to increase to 78.5%.

----- Wednesday, April 17th -----

7:00 AM ET: The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

2:00 PM: the Federal Reserve Beige Book, an informal review by the Federal Reserve Banks of current economic conditions in their Districts.

----- Thursday, April 18th -----

8:30 AM: The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released.  The consensus is for 217 thousand initial claims, up from 211 thousand last week.

8:30 AM: the Philly Fed manufacturing survey for April. The consensus is for a reading of 0.0, down from 3.2.

Existing Home Sales10:00 AM: Existing Home Sales for March from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The consensus is for 4.20 million SAAR, down from 4.38 million.

The graph shows existing home sales from 1994 through the report last month.

----- Friday, April 19th -----

10:00 AM: State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) for March 2024

Friday, April 12, 2024

April 12th COVID Update: Weekly Deaths Decreased

by Calculated Risk on 4/12/2024 07:22:00 PM

Mortgage RatesNote: Mortgage rates are from and are for top tier scenarios.

Due to changes at the CDC, weekly cases are no longer updated.

For deaths, I'm currently using 4 weeks ago for "now", since the most recent three weeks will be revised significantly.

Hospitalizations have declined significantly from the winter high of 30,027 but are still above the low of 5,386 last year.

COVID Metrics
Deaths per Week29611,030≤3501
1my goals to stop weekly posts,
2Weekly for Currently Hospitalized, and Deaths
🚩 Increasing number weekly for Hospitalized and Deaths
✅ Goal met.

COVID-19 Deaths per WeekClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the weekly (columns) number of deaths reported.

Weekly deaths have declined sharply from the recent peak of 2,553 but are still almost double the low of 490 last July.

And here is a graph I'm following concerning COVID in wastewater as of April 6th:

COVID-19 WastewaterThis appears to be a leading indicator for COVID hospitalizations and deaths.

Nationally, COVID in wastewater is now off close to 90% from the holiday peak at the end of December, and that suggests weekly hospitalizations and deaths will continue to decline.

Part 2: Current State of the Housing Market; Overview for mid-April 2024

by Calculated Risk on 4/12/2024 12:55:00 PM

Today, in the Calculated Risk Real Estate Newsletter: Part 2: Current State of the Housing Market; Overview for mid-April 2024

A brief excerpt:

On Wednesday, in Part 1: Current State of the Housing Market; Overview for mid-April 2024 I reviewed home inventory, housing starts and sales.

In Part 2, I will look at house prices, mortgage rates, rents and more.
Other measures of house prices suggest prices will be up about the same YoY in the February Case-Shiller index. The NAR reported median prices were up 5.7% YoY in February, up from 4.9% YoY in January. ICE reported prices were up 5.7% YoY in February, down from 5.8% YoY in January, and Freddie Mac reported house prices were up 5.9% YoY in February, down from 6.2% YoY in January.

Freddie Case-Shiller NAR House PricesThe FMHPI and the NAR median prices appear to be leading indicators for Case-Shiller. Based on recent monthly data, and the FMHPI, the YoY change in the Case-Shiller index will likely be about the same YoY in February as in January.

Price increases have slowed! Over the last 3 months, this FMHPI has only increased at a 1.7% annual rate.
There is much more in the article.

Q1 GDP Tracking: Around 2%

by Calculated Risk on 4/12/2024 11:04:00 AM

From BofA:

Since our update last week, 1Q GDP tracking is down one-tenth to 1.9% q/q saar. [Apr 12th estimate]
emphasis added
From Goldman:
We left our Q1 GDP tracking estimate unchanged at +2.5% (qoq ar) and our Q1 domestic final sales forecast unchanged at +2.6% (qoq ar). [Apr 10th estimate]
And from the Altanta Fed: GDPNow
The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2024 is 2.4 percent on April 10, down from 2.5 percent on April 4. [April 10th estimate]

Hotels: Occupancy Rate Increased 4.7% Year-over-year

by Calculated Risk on 4/12/2024 08:11:00 AM

U.S. hotel performance showed mixed results from the previous week but positive comparisons year over year, according to CoStar’s latest data through 6 April. ...

31 March through 6 April 2024 (percentage change from comparable week in 2023):

Occupancy: 64.1% (+4.7%)
• Average daily rate (ADR): US$156.96 (+2.1%)
• Revenue per available room (RevPAR): US$100.59 (+6.9%)
emphasis added
The following graph shows the seasonal pattern for the hotel occupancy rate using the four-week average.

Hotel Occupancy RateClick on graph for larger image.

The red line is for 2024, black is 2020, blue is the median, and dashed light blue is for 2023.  Dashed purple is for 2018, the record year for hotel occupancy. 

The 4-week average of the occupancy rate is tracking last year, and also at the median rate for the period 2000 through 2023 (Blue).

Note: Y-axis doesn't start at zero to better show the seasonal change.

The 4-week average of the occupancy rate will move mostly sideways seasonally until the summer travel season.

Thursday, April 11, 2024 Reports Active Inventory UP 30.4% YoY; New Listings Up 30.1% YoY

by Calculated Risk on 4/11/2024 02:11:00 PM

What this means: On a weekly basis, reports the year-over-year change in active inventory and new listings. On a monthly basis, they report total inventory. For March, reported inventory was up 23.5% YoY, but still down almost 38% compared to March 2017 to 2019 levels. 

 Now - on a weekly basis - inventory is up 30.4% YoY. has monthly and weekly data on the existing home market. Here is their weekly report: Weekly Housing Trends View—Data Week Ending April 6, 2024
Active inventory increased, with for-sale homes 30.4% above year ago levels.

For an 22nd straight week, active listings registered above prior year level, which means that today’s home shoppers are able to consider more options for existing homes for sale. However, the number of homes on the market is still down 37.9% compared to what was typical in 2017 to 2019.

New listings–a measure of sellers putting homes up for sale–were up this week, by 30.1% from one year ago.

Listing activities rebounded significantly after a dip during the Easter holiday, reaching the highest growth rate after April 2021.However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that some of this increase can be attributed to the reduced number of listings during this same week last year, likely due to the impact of the Easter holiday.
Realtor YoY Active ListingsHere is a graph of the year-over-year change in inventory according to

Inventory was up year-over-year for the 22nd consecutive week following 20 consecutive weeks with a YoY decrease in inventory.  

Inventory is still historically very low.

New listings remain below typical pre-pandemic levels although increasing. The YoY decline last week was related to the Easter holiday, and that was reversed this week.

2nd Look at Local Housing Markets in March

by Calculated Risk on 4/11/2024 10:44:00 AM

Today, in the Calculated Risk Real Estate Newsletter: 2nd Look at Local Housing Markets in March

A brief excerpt:

NOTE: The tables for active listings, new listings and closed sales all include a comparison to March 2019 for each local market (some 2019 data is not available).

This is the second look at several early reporting local markets in March. I’m tracking about 40 local housing markets in the US. Some of the 40 markets are states, and some are metropolitan areas. I’ll update these tables throughout the month as additional data is released.

Closed sales in March were mostly for contracts signed in January and February when 30-year mortgage rates averaged 6.44% and 6.78%, respectively. This is down from the 7%+ mortgage rates in the August through November period (although rates are now back in the 7%+ range again).
Closed Existing Home SalesAnd a table of March sales.

In March, sales in these markets were down 9.6% YoY. In February, these same markets were up 3.1% year-over-year Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA).

Sales in most of these markets are down compared to January 2019.
Many more local markets to come!
There is much more in the article.

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims Decrease to 211,000

by Calculated Risk on 4/11/2024 08:30:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending April 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 211,000, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 221,000 to 222,000. The 4-week moving average was 214,250, a decrease of 250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 214,250 to 214,500.
emphasis added
The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since 1971.

Click on graph for larger image.

The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decreased to 214,250.

The previous week was revised up.

Weekly claims were lower than the consensus forecast.