2023 has seen varied employment trends, and for multifamily real estate investors, these changes offer new perspectives and insights into opportunities when determining which market to invest in. Let's explore the employment landscape and its relevance to the multifamily sector:
The Pulse of the Job Market
Statistics from the end of 2017 showed that the rate of unemployment was at 4.1 percent, indicating that around 6.6 million people in the United States were unemployed during that year. The primary reasons for unemployment included demographic shifts and retirements. However, the Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted the unemployment rate. In April 2020, the rate rose to 14.7% and then fell to 11.1% by the end of June 2020. As of August 2021, the unemployment rate in the United States stands at 5.2%. What does this mean for multifamily investors? A stable job market often translates to consistent rental income.
Who's Employing America?
The U.S. has the fourth-highest labor force globally. In 2017, approximately 160.4 million people were employed. Small businesses are the primary employers, contributing 37% of the employees, followed closely by large business sectors with around 36% of the labor force. The private sector employs a more significant portion of the workforce than the government, accounting for 85% compared to the government's 14%. Here's just a glimpse of some these major employers and how many people they employ:
Walmart - 2.3 million
Amazon - 1.6 million
Allied Universal - 800,000
Koch Industries - 600,000
Kroger - 465,000
Sysco - 450,000
Home Depot - 400,000
UnitedHealth Group - 375,000
Albertsons Companies - 300,000
CVS Health - 300,000
Target - 350,000
Albertsons Companies - 300,000
Walgreens Boots Alliance - 250,000
Accommodation & Food Services: This sector has seen the most significant nominal wage growth, with a year-over-year increase of 7.8% and a quarter-over-quarter growth of 1.0%.
Retail & Customer Service: Maintaining its position since Q1 2022, this sector has witnessed a 6.9% year-over-year wage growth and a 0.8% quarter-over-quarter increase.
Technology: Contrary to expectations, the tech industry has seen the weakest wage growth, with a 4.4% year-over-year and a mere 0.5% quarter-over-quarter growth.
Health Care: The health care sector has significantly boosted the U.S. economy, leading to more job creation.
Aerospace: The U.S. is renowned for manufacturing airplanes, with companies like Boeing and General Dynamics producing both military and private aircraft.
Who's Earning What in 2023?
From CEOs raking in $161,600 USD to teachers earning $60,100 USD, understanding salary trends can offer insights into rental affordability and demand. Afterall, you want to ensure the properties you're investing in are attracting the tenant demographic you're targeting, In particular for Blue Lake, we like to focus on Class B assets with white collared tenants that can likely absorb gradual rent increases.
Average Salaries in 2023:
• CEO: $161,600 USD
• Doctor: $158,700 USD
• Director: $150,600 USD
• General Manager: $129,000 USD
• Software Engineer: $111,000 USD
• Construction Manager: $106,600 USD
• CPA - Certified Public Accountant: $104,700 USD
• Manager: $97,800 USD
• University Professor: $96,400 USD
• Operations Manager: $95,400 USD
• Engineer: $84,900 USD
• System Analyst: $82,200 USD
• Registered Nurse: $75,000 USD
• Architect: $73,700 USD
• Teacher: $60,100 USD
The Ripple Effect on Rents
The multifamily market remains resilient, with occupancy rates stabilizing at 95.0%. The average U.S. asking rent has increased to $1,726 in June 2023. This is a greater indicator demand is strong, and the majority of tenants have, and will continue. to handle rent premiums going into the rest of the year. Cities like Houston, Phoenix, and Dallas, with their fluctuating job growth rates, play a pivotal role in shaping the multifamily real estate demand and rent dynamics.
Multifamily Investment Scene in 2023
While 2022 saw a dip in multifamily transaction activity, the Sun Belt continued to shine bright for investors. With a focus on job and population growth markets, the flow of capital continues to trend to these markets, with Atlanta leading metros in multifamily transaction volume in 2022 with $11.4 billion, followed by Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Miami, and Orlando.
For 2023, we see a similar trend continuing with cities like Houston, Phoenix, Dallas, Chicago, and Charlotte showing apartments are being secured at a rapid pace. These are great indicators that real estate demand is running very strong.
Key Takeaways for Multifamily Investors
Employment Trends = Rental Demand: A keen eye on sector-specific employment can forecast rental demand.
Spread Your Bets: With cities in the Sun Belt showing varied growth, diversifying investments can be a smart move.
Knowledge is Power: Stay armed with the latest economic indicators. Tools like the Payscale Index can be your compass in this dynamic market (see references below).
For multifamily real estate investors, understanding the intricate dance between employment trends and rental demand can be the key to unlocking lucrative opportunities.
As always, Be Bold, Be Great, and Keep Pushing Forward!
Matrix National Multifamily Report, June 2023.
The Payscale Index, United States, Q2 2023.
United States Average Salary Survey 2023.
Yardi Matrix Bulletin, February 2023.
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About Ellie Perlman
Ellie Perlman is the founder of Blue Lake Capital, a commercial real estate investment firm specializing in multifamily investing throughout the United States. At Blue Lake Capital, Ellie partners with both institutional and individual investors to grow their wealth by achieving double-digit returns by investing alongside her in exclusive multifamily deals they usually don't have access to.
A defining factor of Blue Lake Capital’s strategy is founded in utilizing machine learning/artificial intelligence throughout the course of all acquisitions and asset management. This advanced technology enables the company to produce accurate and data-driven forecasting for all assets on a market, property, and even tenant basis. In doing so, Blue Lake is able to lead commercial investments with the full capabilities of today’s technology.
Ellie is the founding host of REady2Scale, a podcast that highlights the assets, processes, and strategies for the multiple approaches to successful real estate investing.
She started her career as a commercial real estate lawyer, leading real estate transactions for one of Israel’s leading development companies. Later, as a property manager for Israel’s largest energy company, she oversaw properties worth over $100MM. Additionally, Ellie is an experienced entrepreneur who helped build and scale companies by improving their business operations.
Ellie holds a Masters in Law from Bar-Ilan University in Israel and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.
You can read more about Blue Lake Capital and Ellie Perlman at www.bluelake-capital.com.