Economic Snapshot: No fireworks, but some reason to celebrate

With the holiday, a pretty light period for economic news this week, but some positive indicators in employment and housing numbers to give us a boost into the lazy days of summer.

ADP: Private employment up 281,000 in June

A very nice report from ADP this week, as the company reported that private employers added 281,000 employees last month, the most since 2012.

That was well above May’s mark of 179,000 and easily surpassed the consensus expectation of 210,000. Small and medium businesses (those less than 500 employees) drove the gain, adding 232,000 employees, while large firms added only 49,000 employees for the month.

The government’s June unemployment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics will be released Thursday, but we got the May metro area report this week. That showed unemployment rates were lower than last May in 357 of the 372 metropolitan areas BLS measures.

Pending home sales have biggest jump in four years

The pending home sales index from National Association of Realtors rose a seasonally adjusted 6.1 percent in May to 103.9. That increase was the largest since it jumped 9.6 percent in April 2010 in the wake of the first-time home buyer tax credit.

Like many sales indicators, the numbers for pending sales are still down from last year – 5.2 percent lower in May. Much of that has been caused by the lower numbers of distressed sales, with institutional buyers getting out of the market and fewer bargains to be had.

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