Market Update as of February 7, 2019

Hiring Explosion Continues
The January jobs report shows the U.S. labor market is still chugging along. The U.S. economy added 304,000 non-farm payrolls in the first month of 2019, ahead of consensus expectations of 165,000. December’s number, however, was revised down to 222,000 from 312,000 previously. Nevertheless, the net gains in jobs was stronger than expected. Following Friday’s jobs report, the new three month average for job gains in the U.S. stands at about 241,000, up from 231,000 following December’s revised reading. The unemployment rate rose to 4.0%, largely due to the government shutdown.

*U.S. JAN. AVERAGE HOURLY EARNINGS RISE 3.2% Y/Y, MATCHING EST.
*U.S. JAN. UNEMPLOYMENT RATE RISES TO 4.0 % VS. 3.9
*U.S. JAN. PAYROLLS INCREASE 304,000
*U.S. MANUFACTURING PAYROLLS RISE 13,000 IN JAN.
*U.S. PRIVATE PAYROLLS RISE 296,000 IN JAN

Construction Spending Improves
U.S. construction spending edged up in November as a gain in home building helped offset weakness in nonresidential construction. The Commerce Department said Friday that construction spending rose 0.8 percent in November after a 0.1 percent gain in October and a 1.8 percent fall in September. The strength in November came from a 3.5 percent jump in spending on home building. That reflected a 2.6 percent increase in apartment construction which offset a 1.8 percent drop in single-family construction. Non-residential construction fell 1.2 percent, with spending on offices and the category that covers shopping centers both down.

Facebook Median Comp at $240K 
A law that requires public companies to disclose the median pay of their employees and compare it with their CEO’s compensation is producing some eye-popping numbers that spotlight income inequality in America. Among the 40 largest Bay Area companies that have reported, median employee pay last year ranged from $5,375 at Gap to $240,430 at Facebook. The median is the midpoint at which half of workers make more and half make less. Gap said its median-paid employee, a real person, was a part-time sales associate in Alabama who worked a partial year and whose pay was not annualized. If you were instead to compare senior software engineers at Facebook and Gap, their pay disparity would be much less startling. But that’s not what the law requires.

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Courtesy of Sotheby's International Realty's in-house Lender Simon Atik, 310.880.8414, Simon.Atik@grarate.com, Vice President of Mortgage Lending, Guaranteed Rate Affinity.

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