COX AUTOMOTIVE – The July employment report marked a milestone in the pandemic recovery, indicating no sign of a recession.
Job growth in July accelerated to 528,000 jobs created. Unemployment fell to 3.5%, the same as it was in February 2020, though the number of jobs on payrolls is now higher than it was in February 2020. Labor force participation declined slightly, and growth in average hourly earnings year-over-year was steady. Jobless claims have increased in recent weeks but remain exceptionally low.
New-vehicle sales were up slightly in July from June but remain low at a 13.3 million seasonally adjusted rate of sales (SAAR). Tight supply, record prices, and historically low incentives continue to limit sales.
Used-vehicle sales declined in July from June. Used supply is a bit higher than normal in retail and wholesale. As a result, prices in July declined more than normal depreciation trends for the time of year.
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