Housing markets depend on employment to drive demand. In fact employment is the single most important factor in driving the demand for housing.
I think many of us forgot this simple rule during the credit boom of a few years ago when no one technically needed a job to get a mortgage to buy a home. I’m not sure if a long term lesson has been learned, but I am hopeful we are headed in the right direction.
In keeping up with employment trends, I took encouragement from the just-released US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics December 2010 report on metropolitan area employment.
The Key Points
• National unemployment fell to 9.1% (not seasonally adjusted) from 9.7% a year earlier.
• Washington DC metro had the lowest jobless rate: 5.7% percent.
• 200 metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 156 reported decreases, and 16 were unchanged.
• Washington DC metro had the largest year over year increase in nonfarm payroll employment: 57,500.
You can gain broader perspective on the region by looking at Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia unemployment results against the US results in this cool Google charting tool.