July 11, 2019
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Austin Business Cycle index continued well above its long-term trend, climbing to 8.2% in May 2019. Dallas Fed analysts attributed the continued expansion to a continued low unemployment rate (2.5%), and a 3.3% annualized job growth for the three months ending in May. Job growth was led by the construction and mining sector, which added 4,000 jobs.
Wages did decline, however — while the average wage of $28.76 per hour continues above the state and national averages, wages in Austin declined 1.6%, year over year. The likely cause of the drop was due to what the analysts dubbed as the “compositional effect,” in which the rapidly-growing construction and mining sector drove down the average.
Housing affordability was at 64.5% during Q1 2019, while inventory was 2.5 months in May. Six months of housing inventory is considered a balanced market.
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