Main Street Health: How was the small business rent in May?

The main road remains resilient. Despite macroeconomic and geopolitical cross-currents and negative reports from some Belvedere companies, our three major health metrics – working hours, location openings and workers working – continue to show a positive trend compared to January 2022.

Main street health metrics
(7-day average; compared to January 2022)
1. Some significant reductions due to major U.S. holidays. The mid-February 2021 coincided with the pronounced Deep Texas power crisis and the severe weather in the Midwest. Source: Homebase Data.

Regional differences

Overall national trends in our main road health metrics mask some differences across regions, states and MSAs. For example, our working hour metric shows some moderate decrease in month-over-month-period in some parts of the west, south-west and southeast. In contrast, New England, the Plains, the Great Lakes and the Mid-Atlantic regions continue to trend positively.

Percentage change in working hours
(Uses mid-May vs. mid-April January 2022 Baseline)
Note 1. May 8-14 vs. April 10-16. The regional average in terms of population based on 2019 estimates from the U.S. Census. Source: Homebase Data

The MSA-level pattern was largely consistent with state-level results, with obvious gains in New York, Hartford and Minneapolis, among others. San Antonio was a southern standout.

Changes in working hours and the percentage of employees employed
(January 2022 using baseline mid-May vs mid-April) 1
1. May 8-14 vs. April 10-16. Source: Homebase Data

Experienced businesses are surpassing significantly compared to the beginning of 2022. It is clear from our data that consumers are shifting from consumer products to experience. We have seen continued growth in the hospitality and entertainment industries, which have grown by 19.2% and 22.8% since January 2022, respectively. Retail, on the other hand, is declining like beauty and wellness.

Percentage change of employees
(Using a 7-day rolling average compared to the January 2022 baseline)
1. May 8-14 vs April 10-16 (2022) and May 12-18 vs 7-13 April (2019). Pronounced dips usually coincide with major U.S. holidays.

Wages have risen by about 10% in nominal average hours since the beginning of 2021. However, there is some evidence that growth rates are equal.

Percentage change in nominal average hourly wages compared to January 2021 baseline

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