Yes, it is official. Florida lost more jobs than any other state in the nation, coming at with a loss of 78,100 jobs. Florida was even worse than Michigan. Is it really any wonder, though?
When we look at the jobs lost, the overwhelming majority were in construction. With the housing market as dismal as it got, with boom turning to bust, the job losses were surely expected. The picture is not nearly as gloomy when you look at the facts, excluding construction.
Since construction itself accounted for a loss of 81,600, there was actually an increase in jobs if construction is removed from the equation. Interestingly enough, despite the government complaining about lost revenues due to changes in property taxes, they were among those with increased jobs. Healthcare was among the other arenas that offered more jobs.
Since job growth is one of the primary factors for a healthy housing market, does this mean we are nearing the bottom? That depends. Personally, I think we are nearing the lows in house prices (condos will suffer for a while still), but don’t expect any real appreciation for a while.
With the current condition of the local economy, Miami-Dade County is expected to have their unemployment rate climb to 6%. Broward, already experiencing climbs in unemployment, is expected will be similar. Broward County is already around 5.1%, up from 3.7% a year ago. Palm Beach County is already at 6%, up from 4.5%. Monroe County still has the lowest percentage, currently 4% but it is up from 2.9% a year ago.
Florida, namely South Florida, still is struggling with its economy. High inflation, rampant foreclosures, many caused by mortgage fraud, and more job losses expected will not be of any help. Still, the “perfect storm” is providing some awesome real estate deals, so now is a great time to be purchasing properties. And if you are a foreigner, all the more reason to buy now as the currency exchange rates are highly favorable for most of you.
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