Morning Report: Wages increasing at the low end of the scale 7/21/17

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P Futures 2470.8 -0.8
Eurostoxx Index 382.4 -1.6
Oil (WTI) 46.6 -0.4
US dollar index 86.7 0.2
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.25%
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 103.31
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 104.375
30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 3.96

Stocks are flat this morning on another Summer Friday. Bonds and MBS are flat.

Should be a dull day as much of the mortgage business is at the Western Secondary conference, there is no data or Fed-Speak, and the rest of the Street will be on the LIE by noon.

What states still have the highest foreclosure issues? New Jersey is the worst, with 1% of all homes in some state of foreclosure. They are followed by DE. MD, IL, CT, NV, FL, SC, OH, and NM. Note there isn’t a lot of overlap between these areas and the best places to start a business.

Republicans in Congress plan to use the Congressional Review Act to overturn the Obama-era CFPB ruling that eliminates mandatory arbitration. The left wanted to overturn mandatory arbitration in order to make it easier to use class-action lawsuits to attack what it considers bad corporate behavior. The right worries that it will restrict credit, and amount to nothing more than a sop to the trial lawyers lobby.

Are we beginning to see the stirrings of wage inflation” Certainly at the low end of the wage scale we are. We are also starting to see wage inflation at the high end, where there are shortages of skilled labor. The middle is still lumbering along at 2.5% wage growth or so – better than inflation, but not all that satisfying. Especially since rental costs are outpacing inflation due to tightness in the real estate market. I have said this before: getting housing starts up fixed two major problems: lack of middle class jobs and a tight real estate market. Both would go a long way towards making the economy feel better.

Further to the above, Axios has a cool moving graph that demonstrates the malaise in the jobs market over the past decade. It plots the number of jobs on the vertical axis and wages on the horizontal axis. You can see in some professions where both the number and the wages have been falling.

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