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Graphic Economics

A collection of graphic representations of data by CEPR researchers on important economic issues.

New Privately Owned Housing Units Started, Aug 1992 - Aug 2012 Print

September 25, 2012

Data on the housing market continue to be overwhelmingly positive. The 4.8 million pace for existing home sales reported for August is somewhat above trend. The inventory of unsold homes is just over six months' supply at the current sales rate. A continuing flow of distressed sales into the market is not likely to radically change the picture. While both sales rates and prices are pretty much back to their trend levels, construction remains far below trend; although, even here the picture is improving. The rate of 750,000 starts reported in August is 29.1 percent above the rate from a year ago. With the vacancy rate falling back sharply from its peaks in 2009 and 2010, starts are almost certain to continue to rise. Residential construction can be expected to provide a substantial boost to the economy through the rest of 2012 and through 2013. Starts are not likely to get back to the 2 million peaks of the bubble years, but we will likely get to at least a 1.3-1.4 million range by 2014.


For more, check out our latest Housing Market Monitor.

Growth in Food Services and Drinking Places Employment as a Share of Nonfarm Employment Growth Print

September 7, 2012

The restaurant sector continued to show robust job growth in August, adding 28,300 jobs. This unusually strong growth can be used to clear up some confusion in news accounts about the nature of the jobs being created in the recovery. A disproportionate share of new jobs have been in low-paying sectors. This should be expected. The quality of jobs is in part a function of the quantity. When the unemployment rate is low, there are still bad jobs being created, but they just go unfilled.


For more, check out the latest Jobs Byte.

Change in Bottom-Tier Home Prices in Selected Cities, Jan 2002 - June 2012 Print

August 28, 2012

The latest housing data found prices in Atlanta rose by 2.3 percent, 1.7 percent in Chicago, 1.5 percent in Phoenix, 1.2 percent in Minneapolis, and 1.1 percent in Las Vegas. In each of these cities, the price increase is being driven most strongly by the bottom third of the market. The price increases in this segment of the market have been extraordinary in recent months. In Las Vegas, the bottom tier of the market has risen at a 30.4 percent annual rate over the last three months. In Phoenix, prices in the bottom tier have increased at a 32.4 percent annual rate.


For more, check out the latest Housing Market Monitor.

Monthly Nonfarm Employment of Women and Men, January 2010 - July 2012 Print
August 3, 2012

Women accounted for more than half (86,000) of the jobs created in July, but we continue to see unusual patterns. For example, jobs held by women in retail fell by 3,100, while jobs held by men went up by 9,800. The average hourly wage has increased at a 2.0 percent annual rate over the last quarter, slightly above the 1.7 percent rate for the last year.


For more, check out our latest Jobs Byte.

Rental and Homeownership Vacancy Rate, 1996-2012 Print
July 30, 2012

The vacancy rate for ownership units fell to 2.1 percent in July. That compares to 2.5 percent in the second quarter of 2011 and a peak of 2.9 percent in 2008. The vacancy rate for rental units fell by 0.2 percentage points to 8.6 percent. This is down 0.6 percentage points from 9.2 percent in the second quarter of 2011 and more than two full percentage points from the peak of 11.1 percent in 2009. The vacancy rate for rental units has not been this low since 2002. (There are roughly twice as many ownership units as rental units.) 


For more, check out the latest Housing Market Monitor.

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