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Market News and Trends

Texas and Austin Stronger than most of U.S.

[Note to the Austin American-Statesman:  Making feature articles from the print edition difficult or impossible to find on does not protect your subscription revenues.  It frustrates paid subscribers and gives unpaid online readers no reason to expect to find those larger features in print.]

On page B5 (the first page of the Business section) of yesterday’s American-Statesman (Saturday, November 21), there were two articles (in print but not online) on the subject of unemployment:  [Central Texas] October jobless rate holds steady at 7.2% and Jobless rates increase in 29 states in October.  Both included very good information but seemed incomplete to me.  As I have written previously (Unemployment and Productivity), renewing job growth is critical to renewing real, sustainable strength in the housing sector.  Another article that appeared in the print Statesman but not online (Experts see more pain for housing) noted that “… high unemployment is keeping many buyers out of the market ….”  That is clearly the key source of economic risk nationally, and the Austin area is undoubtedly affected by the larger economy, but …

As always in simplified statistical discussions the fact that the unemployment percentage in Central Texas has been the same for the past three months obscures the fact that there actually has been job growth – slow, but positive.  A graph included with the article about Central Texas (October jobless rate holds steady at 7.2%) showed a -0.4% rate of job growth, despite a positive slope in the jobs graph recently.  What that chart really shows is a comparison of the rate of job growth in October 2009 compared to the rate in October 2008.  Even that year-over-year comparison, however, shows monthly improvements in September and October.

TWC Unemployment 11/20/09 indicates that 41,700 non-agriculture jobs were created in Texas in October.  The chart on page 2 of that press release shows that the Civilian Labor Force in Texas grew by 5,400, while 17,200 jobs were added – a net gain of 11,800 jobs.  In the Austin Metro area the Civilian Labor Force grew by 3,400 people (almost 2/3 of the entire gain in the state), and our local economy added 3.600 jobs.  Texas and Austin gained employable population last month and added even more jobs.

I recognize that newspaper editors must judge how best to utilize available pages and I will withhold critical comments about the judgments that were made for Saturday’s paper.  For myself and my blog followers, however, I believe that important information was left out.  As I have emphasized many times over the past couple of years, there is much more reason for optimism in Austin than one might conclude from reading most print media.  For more details, visit Austin-Round Rock MSA – Growing Economy

About Bill Morris, Realtor

Many years of business experience (high tech, client service, business organization and start-up, including almost 20 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. Learn more about my background and experience, my commitment to my clients, my profession, and to the real estate industry at


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