The Labor Department reported that nonfarm employment increased by 160,000 positions in April, less than the 200,000 positions consensus projection. Over the past 12 months, monthly job increases have averaged 232,000. Employment increased in in professional and business services, health care, and financial activities. Job losses continued in mining. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for February was revised from 245,000 to 233,000, and the change for March was revised from 215,000 to 208,000.
For the second consecutive quarter, new development activity for seniors housing showed a marked slowdown. Indeed, seniors housing construction starts totaled 2,737 units in the first-quarter of 2016, comprised of 802 independent living units and 1,935 assisted living units. On a four-quarter basis, a slowdown also was evident, as starts totaled 19,243 units, the weakest pace in a year. The decline in starts may suggest that the market is responding to well-publicized concerns about supply. Data for the second and third quarter will further illuminate this possibility. Anecdotally, some properties scheduled to break ground in the first quarter failed to do so because of higher construction costs or the discovery of new competition in the area, or because they were waiting on final financing approval.