You're reading...
Market News and Trends

They’re doing it again!


Lead story in today’s Business section in the Austin American-Statesman:

Job
plunge in January is steepest of recession

Sensational?  Yes.

True?  Not so much.

I have reviewed the Texas Workforce Commission report that apparently was the basis for the article:

TWC Report 03/04/2010

It does indeed show a 7.6% unemployment rate in the Austin area in January 2010, compared to a 6.5% rate in January 2009.  It does not show a loss of 10,000 jobs over that period as stated in the Statesman article.  Instead, TWC reported a total of 833,400 jobs in the Austin-Round Rock metro area in January 2010, versus 813,200 in January 2009.  My calculator says that is a gain of more than 20,000 jobs!

It seems the reason the unemployment rate went up is that the civilian labor force in the area grew by 32,200!  As I have been writing for months, Austin continues to attract employers and net in-migration.  As it happens, we are attracting people who see opportunity here faster than the jobs they need are being created.  The Statesman noted that seasonal retail workers are typically laid off in January, contributing to higher unemployment.  Even with that, though, we gained jobs month-to-month and year-over-year.

“Steepest [decline] of recession”?   I suppose there is some legitimate debate about when the downturn began, but this statement just didn’t ring true to me, so I went back to the source again — the Texas Workforce Commission.  For readers who prefer graphs, here is a look at Austin metro employment from January 2005 through January 2010:

Austin Employment 2005-2010 (Graph)

You will notice that the definition of the “metro area” being measured varies from one report to the other, but this  information taken directly from the TWC website shows that Austin actually gained jobs from December 2009 to January 2010, and from January 2009 to January 2010.  So does the press release posted at the beginning of this article.  The attached graphs both include 3-month moving average trendlines to help with interpretation, and the direction of change in Austin employment during 2009 is clear.

If you’re interested in monthly details, that is available here:

Austin Employment 2005-2010 (Data)

It turns out that the largest monthly loss of jobs in the past five years was from December 2008 to January 2009 — 12,374 jobs, or a 3.1% contraction.  That compares to growth of 0.4% from December 2009 to January 2010.  Interestingly, instead of being the “steepest plunge” this was the only time in five years that we did not experience a loss of jobs from December to January!

Perhaps the Statesman reporter dug deeper or had more data than I found this morning, but while Austin has certainly felt the effects of the recession, I see good news in the TWC data.  Admittedly, I am a “glass is half full” kind of guy, but I can’t figure out how to interpret that actual data negatively!

Advertisements

About Bill Morris, Realtor

More than thirty years of business experience (high tech, client service, business organization and start-up, including many years in real estate) tell me that service is the key to success and I look forward to serving you. I represent both buyers and sellers throughout the Austin metropolitan area, which means first-hand market knowledge is brought to bear on serving your needs: -- Seller Representation is a comprehensive process that begins with thorough market analysis and consultation, continues with properly staging the home to achieve the highest price possible in a reasonable time on market, a complete program of marketing and promotion, ongoing updates and communication, closing coordination, and follow-up throughout (and after) the sale. -- Buyer Representation is also full service: shopping, previewing, price and market consultation, contracting, negotiating, coordination of inspections, appraisals, repairs, and closing details, and follow-up beyond the closing of your purchase to ensure your lasting satisfaction. Because the real estate industry is becoming more sophisticated and challenging every day, you need a professional that understands the industry and is positioned to stay ahead of the game. I go the extra mile to help you achieve your goals. That's why I constantly research the market and property values so your home is priced effectively from day one. I also make sure the public knows your home is for sale by using innovative advertising and marketing techniques to attract potential buyers.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: