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IF CHICAGO JOBLESS RATE IS A FACTOR, Real Estate Market Turnaround Could Stall!


I heard from an old Chicago Real Estate Agent some years ago an interesting axiom about a high Unemployment Rate, and it's impact on the Real Estate Market -

" If it's Friday, and folks are worried whether they will have a job come Monday, it is unlikely they will buy a new home that Saturday or Sunday."

We all wonder here if that old salt might indeed be true.  According to figures released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, as reported by Sandra M. Jones in today's Chicago Tribune, the seasonally-unadjusted Unemployment Rate in the Chicago Metro Area increased to 10.7% last month, up from 9.8% recorded one year earlier. 

That Unemployment Rate is extraordinarily high, but it is recent moderation in the level of increase that gives the optimistic pause for hope.  Says Maureen O'Donnell, the Director of the IDES in Chicago, the level of the increases had tapered off in the past four months.  She is hopeful this is but one of many signs the U.S. Recession may be coming to an end.

With every monthly employment report for the last three years, the Unemployment Rate in the Chicago Metro Area has jumped.  In the last few months, however, the pace of the increase has slowed.  Many experts find that encouraging, but caution the economy is still fragile, and an oversupply of very inexpensive distressed homes, coupled with a still-too-high jobless number, is likely a major tempering factor in a Chicago Real Estate Market turnaround.

Across IL, all Major Metro Areas have suffered through far higher unemployment than in April, 2009.  The biggest increase, year over year, belongs to the town of Rockford, IL, about 90 miles northwest of Chicago.  That city's Unemployment Rate skyrocketed 3.3% from one year ago.  It currently stands at 16.3%!

The IL Unemployment Rate currently stands at 10.8%, versus 9.5% nationally.  Indeed, Illinois Unemployment as a percentage of those out of work, but who still want to find a job, is 13.7% higher than the U.S.Average.

In the Chicago Metro Area, the number of non-farm jobs, not seasonally adjusted, fell 2.3% last month.  In North Suburban Lake County IL, including the Kenosha WI area just over the IL-WI border, non-farm payrolls declined 3.5% last month.

On the face, the numbers draw concern.  They also make you wonder whether the Chicago Real Estate Market is in for substantial recover in 2010.


Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2010 8:42 PM by Dean's Team


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