Unemployment Continues to Drop--Good for Housing!
Well, once again the Bay Area, with Marin, continues to show the way to the rest of the country on reducing unemployment figures. Even though Marin's figure edged up very slightly, it still leads the state in the lowest unemployment figure.
As we reported earlier this week, Freddie Mac recently issued a sunny 2014 forecast for the U.S. housing market but noted that job growth will play a key role in the ongoing recovery. California’s February unemployment report bolsters Freddie Mac’s optimistic outlook here in the Bay Area, with every one of our nine counties boasting lower jobless claims than the state average.
California’s unemployment rate dropped to 8 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, down 0.1 percent from the previous month. In that same period, jobless claims across the country rose from 6.6 to 6.7 percent, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics.
Although California’s unemployment rate is still higher than the national average, the state has bounced back from the recession faster than the rest of the country.
“This is now clearly a solid and sustainable recovery led by sectors with good future growth prospects,” Stephen Levy, director and senior economist of the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, said in a statement. “After a long and deep recession, the state has outpaced the nation in recovery for four straight years and looks to build on that record in 2014.”
Job gains were particularly vigorous in the construction sector in February, with 14,100 new positions added. Since February 2013, the construction industry has seen employment upticks of 6.2 percent – the largest in the state – in what Levy calls a “triple winner.”
“Building activity creates job in other sectors as well as in construction, most construction jobs pay good wages, and building housing and infrastructure addresses two of California’s key economic competitiveness challenges,” Levy said.
While unemployment increased in some Bay Area regions in February, all nine counties still came in below statewide rate.
Jobless claims inched up by 0.1 percent in Marin, but the county still has the fewest number of unemployed workers in California, at 4.8 percent. Unemployment also grew 0.1 percent in San Mateo County to finish February at 5 percent, the second lowest in the state.
The unemployment rate improved from the previous month in San Francisco (5.2 percent), Napa (6.1 percent), and Solano (7.9 percent) counties.
Job growth was static in the rest of our local counties, where unemployment numbers remained unchanged from January. Santa Clara County closed February with a 6.1 percent jobless rate, trailed by Sonoma (6.2 percent), Alameda (6.7 percent), and Contra Costa counties (7 percent).
So, what does this mean for you if you're thinking of selling your home? Well, the most obvious thing is that more people are working, which means that more folks can qualify for a mortgage and thus have funds to purchase your home. Add in the continued shortage of inventory, and you're in great shape to sell your home.
If you'd like to know more, call us! We can provide you with the latest data on the market and how things are going on the mortgage market as well. If you'd like a free valuation of your home to help in your decision, we'd be happy to provide one! Call: Peter: (415) 279-6466; Jane: (415) 531-4091. We're here to help you make the best decisions.