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NAR Chief Economist Highlights March Jobs Report

The job losses in March were no surprise, capturing the early impacts of the COVID-19-induced economic shutdown. The majority of cuts occurred in restaurants, leisure, and travel industries. The construction industry also experienced losses, but principally related to commercial real estate. Residential home construction jobs were steady and higher by 27,000 from a year ago for actual building construction and higher by 44,000 among general contractors.

“We had a housing shortage before going into the crisis and home builders were gearing up to relieve the inventory tightness,” said National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, commenting on the March 2020 Jobs Report.

“What’s ahead? Expect much higher losses in April. The May figures will be of note to see if the stimulus package will prevent further layoffs,” added Yun. “Be mindful that the unemployed are not at fault, hence the enhanced unemployment insurance checks to make up for a good portion of lost income. There will be spending power ready to be unleashed once the all-clear signal is declared.”

The National Association of Realtors is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.