Jobs and housing inextricably linked

On the heels of President Obama’s Dec. 3 jobs forum, today we hear a bit of good news from the Labor Department. The national unemployment rate fell in November to 10.0% from October’s high of 10.2%.

We have to wait until Dec. 17 to learn whether Illinois’ unemployment rate moved up or down from its October rate of 11.0%, the highest level since August 1983, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. It’s clear to see with rates like these why national and state officials are talking about jobs programs.

Jobs and income are inextricably linked to the housing market. If you’re worried about keeping your job you likely won’t make a major purchase such as a home, even with the tax credit incentive. And job losses are cited as a driving factor in the continuing foreclosure crisis.

As economist Geoff Hewings reported in his latest forecast for the Illinois Association of REALTORS®: “With interest rates at 5% for 30-year loans, housing supply strong, the uptick in sales should continue; however, many potential buyers have either too much debt or are unemployed precluding their participating in this buyers’ market.”

Here are more Illinois employment stats from the University of Illinois Regional Economics Applications Laboratory based on data from October 2009.

  • Employment forecasts for the next 12 months suggest continuing erosion in the 180-200,000 range; Illinois is now 424,700 jobs below its prior peak of November 2000 and almost half of the 10 macro sectors of the economy (including manufacturing and construction) have employment levels below those of 1990.
  • Since the beginning of the recession in December 2007, Illinois has posted negative job changes 22 times, and the state has lost 358,100 jobs in this recession.
  • Through 2008, Illinois lost -11,800 jobs at a rate of -0.20% on average per month. However, the average monthly loss for the first 10 months of 2009 was -21,400 jobs at a rate of -0.37%.
  • Five sectors in Illinois have employment levels in this month less than January 1990, and they are Manufacturing, Information, Construction, Trade, Transportation & Utilities, and Financial Activities.
  • Over the last 12 months, Illinois shed 286,300 jobs at a rate of -4.83%.
  • Through October 2009, the cumulative job growth for Illinois, RMW and the nation compared to January 1990 stood at 7.03%, 9.41%, and 19.88%, respectively.  (RMW stands for Rest of the Midwest which includes Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.)
  • In October the shadow unemployment rates for Illinois, RMW and the nation were 13.2%, 14.5% and 12.3%, compared to official unemployment rates of 11.0%, 10.7% and 10.2%.
This entry was posted in Consumer Information, Housing Market and tagged , , , , by Ann Londrigan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Londrigan

Ann Londrigan is Director of Association Outreach and Marketing for the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. She is responsible for increasing member engagement in and awareness for IAR Governmental Affairs and the RVOICE program as well as increasing participation in the REALTORS® Political Action Committee. She is responsible for overall marketing plans for IAR member benefits, educational products and events and is the content manager for IAR’s Facebook page and LinkedIn discussion group. She manages the IAR Welcome Center, serves as staff liaison to the University of Illinois Regional Economics Applications Laboratory, and coordinates the IAR housing stats program.

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