Positives, Negatives Seen in April Job Report, Auction.com Says

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' April metro area employment data held good and bad news for multifamily and single-family recovery, according to New York City-based Auction.com.

New York—The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) April metro area employment data held good and bad news for multifamily and single-family recovery, according to New York City-based Auction.com. Developers, owners and operators of multifamily properties may take heart or feel disheartened, depending on where in the country they are based.

New York City and Texas continued to outperform the rest of the country in job growth, while the Washington, D.C. area underperformed, the report stated. Elsewhere, Nashville and Salt Lake City displayed the strongest growth over the past three- and six-month periods and were among the leaders over the past year.

A number of former “housing bust” metros are also seeing robust employment expansion, including Tampa Bay, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville and Las Vegas.

For more than five years, Auction.com has provided a monthly survey of employment in major U.S. markets, with an eye on the impact of job growth on multifamily and single-family housing. What were the most noteworthy findings of the April report? One of the most significant was that the three local economies of the D.C. area lagged in comparison to the U.S. growth rate.

“Washington, D.C. was a growth area in the recession because it was resilient during the downturn due to the expansion of the government during that time,” Peter Muoio, senior principal of Auction.com, tells MHN. “Now with the federal government facing significant fiscal constraints and the initial impact of the sequester being felt, [negative job] results are being experienced in the District and its surrounding suburbs.”

Also worth noting is that the former housing bust metros are beginning to experience job growth momentum, Muoio adds. With housing no longer serving as a drag, the overall economies of these areas are witnessing an upswing.

Over the three-month, six-month and one-year time frames, they are generating job growth at a faster rate than the country as a whole, he says.

Different forces are at work in Nashville and Salt Lake City, Muoio adds. “Nashville benefits from its large education and health care segments, while Salt Lake City has some tech flavor to it,” he says. “Salt Lake City is benefiting from the same trends that are lifting more well-known tech centers like the Bay Area of Northern California; Austin, Texas; and Raleigh, North Carolina.”

Apart from the job story, apartment demand has been strong across the board due to rental properties benefiting from the flow of residents from single-family ownership to renting lifestyles. But focus on job growth and the key finding is the degree to which bifurcation is being seen across the United States.

“Some markets are doing well, and others are showing weaknesses,“ Muoio says. “The markets generating job growth will, generally speaking, support more demand for both single-family and multifamily business.”