Rent Relief

While prices for single-family homes continue to rise, there is some good news for renters.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs reported earlier this month that residential rent increases peaked at the end of last year. It further projects that rental prices will gradually stabilize during the first half of this year.

Catching Up

Some protections for renters during the pandemic held rents and evictions down. However, rents began to rise with the lifting of those restrictions in most communities. As a result, landlords began accelerating rate increases last year to make up for lost revenue.

Molly Boesel, economist at CoreLogic, paints a dramatic picture.

“U.S. single-family rent growth increased 9.3% in August 2021,the fastest year-over-year increase in over 16 years, according to the CoreLogic Single-Family Rent Index (SFRI).” writes Boesel. “The August 2021 increase was more than four times the August 2020 increase, and while the index growth slowed last summer, rent growth is running well above pre-pandemic levels when compared with 2019.”

Broader Impact

A plateau in rental prices would bode well for the economy at large.

Residential rent is a major factor in inflation. It makes up 40 percent of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

“Because of the way shelter costs enter into the CPI, these increases in owned home and rental costs have not yet contributed much to overall inflation,” notes a September White House Blog.

“Our analysis, however, suggests that these higher shelter prices are likely to soon show up more clearly in the monthly CPI, potentially adding several more basis points (hundredths of a percentage point) to monthly inflation than they do now,” the blog observed. “As we show, some of this acceleration would simply represent a return to the normal pre-pandemic shelter contributions to inflation, and we note that these housing price dynamics are included in inflation forecasts, including our own, which show overall price growth decelerating in coming quarters.”

President Biden, no doubt, hopes his team and Goldman Sachs are right about rental prices easing — even though he lives rent-free.

Demand for Subs

Looking for a new side gig to supplement your income while participating in the Great Resignation? How about becoming a substitute teacher?

Greater Need

“No”, you say, “I don’t have the background or academic requirements to be a substitute teacher.”

You are probably wrong.

Several states, including Missouri and Oregon, have removed degree requirements for substitute teachers. Other school districts have raised pay and increased benefits.

Covid Impact

Teachers are not immune from disease. More teachers are getting sick and missing work with Covid and its spawn running ramped. As a result, substitute teachers are in greater demand.

According to EdWeek.org, a national survey by its research center reports that “77 percent of principals and district leaders said they have struggled to hire a sufficient number of substitute teachers. More administrators pointed to difficulties hiring subs than any other staffing position.”

Some schools have had to close temporarily because they did not have enough teachers.

Desperate Times

In New Mexico, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has become a certified substitute teacher. She has also called on national guard members to follow her lead. As a result, over 100 members are now working as substitute teachers.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has waived certification requirements to allow any school system employee to serve as a substitute. In addition, she is letting retired teachers back in the classroom without jeopardizing their retirement benefits.

Kansas has suspended degree requirements for subs. Ohio now only requires a clean background check to fill in for a teacher. College students can now sub in Pennsylvania.

Still, other school districts are calling on parents to fill the substitute void.

Teachers Pushed to the Edge

Added burdens brought on by reduced staffing have taken a toll on many teachers.

A growing number of educators are considering leaving their profession early, according to a survey by the National Education Association (NEA).

“More than half (55%) of members say they are more likely to leave or retire from education sooner than planned because of the pandemic,” according to the NEA report.“Almost double the number saying the same in July 2020. Black and Hispanic educators are more likely to say they are more likely to retire or leave early, which could leave the teaching profession less diverse.”

Teacher burn-out from covering unfilled staffing positions is a key factor in the survey results, according to the NEA.

Conclusion

Undoubtedly there is a need for substitute teachers. If you have the time and energy, you may be able to fill that need and make steady money.

To become a substitute teacher, you should contact your local school district.

Great Resignation’s End In Sight

Less than a year after it began, the Great Resignation may be winding down, according to some forecasters.

Even before January’s jobs report showed a surge in employment, Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, told Fortune the end was at hand. He cited increased hiring in the Fall.

“The worst of the labor shortage has passed, and employers should be able to start filling jobs more readily,” Zandi said.

Quits vs Hires

A record 68.9 million Americans left their jobs last year. Some were fired, some retired, but the vast majority just quit.

Conversely, new hires outpaced resignations in 2021. Over 75 million people were hired last year. As a result, 2021 was a net gain of 6.4 new hires.

It might look like a net gain in employment would wipe out the mass resignations. However, many of those resignations are unfilled while job creation continues.

Reasons for People Going Back to Work

Economists and employment forecasters see several reasons people will return to work sooner rather than later.

The lessening impact of Covid strains is a reason for the end of the Great Resignation. With a decline in infections, many people will feel it is safe to return to work.

One economist sees high gas prices driving people back to work.

“Lower-income groups are vulnerable to higher energy costs,” UBS Economist Paul Donovan, told Fortune.

Young workers are particularly impacted by higher gas prices, says Donovan. He contends that “gasoline is a disproportionate amount of spending for this group. Higher oil prices may encourage a return to the conventional jobs market.”

Then there is the novel idea that employers can hold on to their workforce by showing they care.

“Another point you should consider is that companies have put more and more effort into retaining their talent — they’re becoming better employers for their employees,” Omar Glass, CEO of GrowthSpace told ebn. “They’re investing more in culture, more in communication, and more in mentorship and development. When your employers really care about you and create an inclusive environment, eventually, people will stay.”

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