US Private Job Sector Growth – Texas Ranks No1

May 26, 2011

Texas has enjoyed an unequaled economic boom the past 10 years.

The inventory of private-sector jobs in Texas increased by 732,800 between April 2001 and the same month this year, according to an On Numbers analysis of new federal employment data. No other state registered an increase of more than 100,000 private-sector jobs during the decade.

See the bottom of this story for a state-by-state breakdown of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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BLS – April 2011 Mass Layoff Report

May 26, 2011

The number of mass layoff events in April increased by 278 from March, and the number of associated initial claims increased by 25,404.  In April, 327 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector, seasonally adjusted, resulting in  35,022 initial claims; both figures increased over the month.

The national unemployment rate was 9.0 percent in April, up  from 8.8 percent the prior month but down from 9.8 percent a year earlier. In April, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 244,000 over the month and by 1,313,000 from a year earlier.

Source: Bureau of Labour Statistics

Arizona’s level of financial distress grew in the first quarter of 2011.

May 26, 2011

Credit counseling agency CredAbility reported Thursday in its CredAbility Consumer Distress Index that Arizona was the fifth-most financially distressed state at the beginning of 2011. The index noted Arizona suffers from high unemployment and housing problems.

Arizona scored about 64 percent in the index, while the national average was 68.2 percent. A score below 70 indicates a state of financial distress. The index is a quarterly measure that tracks the financial condition of the average U.S. household. It measures employment, housing, credit, how families manage household budgets and net worth.  Here’s the 10 most distressed states:

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CREA – Gradual Downward Correction for Real Estate Price in 2011 and 2012

May 18, 2011

The Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) latest statistics, which show national real estate activity fell last month nearly 15% on a year-over-year basis, signifies the beginning of a gradual correction in the housing market that could cause sales activity to fall by nearly another 10% this time next year, says TD Economics Senior Vice President and Senior Economist Craig Alexander.

Alexander agreed with CREA’s analysis that the federal mortgage rule changes introduced on March 18 contributed to April’s dip in activity. But the latest decline won’t stop here, he said. Once the Bank of Canada (BoC) resumes raising its key interest rate, housing demand will moderate further, he said.

Even though the Canadian economy is, according to the BoC, on track to grow 4.2%  this year and inflation rose above 3% in March, Alexander said the BoC has been reluctant to raise the overnight lending rate because of a number of risks in the global economy, including the slow recovery in the U.S., the sovereign-debt crisis in Europe and rising inflation in emerging markets.

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Alberta Job Market Review

May 12, 2011

CALGARY – The Alberta economy has generally been showing signs of strong improvement recently but, although the labour market has also improved over the past year, gains have been erratic at best.

After starting the year off with a bang, employment in Alberta dipped in April for the second consecutive month. The total number of individuals on payrolls fell by 4,200 in April, following a drop of 3,200 in March and gains of 21,600 and 13,700 in January and February respectively (see graph).

The April Alberta employment report is a hard one to gauge overall direction from. Some industries, including manufacturing (-8,500) and trade (-8,600) saw major job losses in April while others like finance, insurance and real estate (+7,800) and public services (+6,400), saw large gains.

Overall, full-time employment grew by 9,100, while part-time employment shrank 13,300 jobs. Growth in the labour force combined with the lack of job growth brings the Alberta unemployment rate to 5.9 per cent, up from 5.7 per cent in March.

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How Chinese Home Buyers Are Boosting Housing Prices Around the World

May 2, 2011

The average price of a home in Vancouver has shot up 13 percent over the last year and now tops $780,000. Even as home prices fallin most major U.S. cities, housing in tony San Marino, Calif., has shrugged off the financial crisis to reach a record high last year. Demand for real estate in Melbourne and other Australian coastal cities is up.

The link? Well-heeled Chinese home buyers are increasingly shopping abroad, pushing up prices in real estate markets around the world. Evidence of the trend:

One factor driving Chinese home buyers to think globally — rising real estate costs at home. The average house in Beijing runs $300 per square foot, or roughly what you might pay in many Western cities. Interest rates also are rising in China, as the government tries to cool the racing economy. Measures aimed at discouraging speculation, such as a restriction barring people from owning more than two properties, is also spurring real estate investors to consider foreign markets.

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US: Foreigners Snapping Up Foreclosed Properties

May 2, 2011

RealtyTrac’s list of the cities with the best bargains in foreclosed properties contained few surprises.  What may not be well-known, however, is that many investors from outside the United States are taking in an interest in the market.

Foreigners purchased about $41 billion worth of residential property in 2010, accounting or about 4% of the market, according to the National Association of Realtors.    About 28% of realtors reported having at least n international client.  Sales to foreigners were reported in 39  states though they were concentrated in Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas, the NAR says.  Other states are attracting overseas investors as well as the dollar continues to weaken and the real estate market continues to meander along the bottom.

Among the areas that are of interest is Memphis,  which according to RealtyTrac offered investors a 54.07%  discount verses similar properties, the biggest of any city in the country.   These deals have piqued the interest of investors from Australia and other parts of Asia, who already are keen on the city because of its ties to Elvis Presley.  Memphis ranked 68th in total foreclosures in 2010.

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