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The data on the today’s monthly Jobs report showed that only about 1/3 of the anticipated positions posted to be filled actually came to fruition. Analysts expected 750,000 job listings and we saw 235,000. This data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the main fact finding agency of the U.S. government. Though not as dramatically, the privately held ADP report released earlier this week corroborates(ish) the drop in freshly minted “Now Hiring” signs with 660K projected and 374K materializing.  On a side note, ADP has been a more accurate indicator of reality than the Feds’ initial number.  The BLS will issue several revisions of their initial reports over the next few weeks, which will fall more in line with what ADP broadcast initially.  

The second major point out of the Jobs Report was the increase in wages, up 0.6% this month versus the 0.3% expected.  Companies are handing out twice the raises and hiring half the people. So a betting man or woman (or a savvy gender neutral employee) would ask for a raise rather than just go out looking for a new job. This “wage based inflation” will be the main driver of interest rate hikes, and, I believe, is an enormous consideration for an Administration considering bumping up the Minimum Wage whilst keeping rates low to balance(ish) their own budget…er, deficit…er, money printing operations.

One more statistic before announcing the winner of a free mortgage payment.  The number of homes that sold in Salt Lake and Utah Counties dropped 26.1% and 22.3% respectively from July 2020 to July 2021.  Over the same period of time, the median sales price on those fewer homes that did sell rose 24.5% and 25.7% in the same order.  Go ahead and pat yourself on the back for being a homeowner.  With home prices rising more than 3X the average wage, finding affordable housing is an increasingly daunting challenge–unless of course you get your payment made by your favorite loan officer.