Many of the most resilient local economies in the U.S. are clustered in the Midwest, while some of the worst performing markets are those that experienced the sharpest housing corrections.
The connection is no coincidence as housing and construction play an important role in economic growth and job creation. As prices and sales declined in these markets, so did employment in construction, housing related services (lawn care, pest control, pool care, etc.) and retail sales (home electronics, furniture, home improvement centers, etc.).
This cycle spiraled downward and resulted in more layoffs as local governments and businesses pared jobs to reduce costs. Some of these markets have made headway in recent months, but job creation remains an issue.
Curious how your market matches up? Look at NAR Research’s Local Market Reports for more information about employment trends in your area (log-in required).
Ken Fears is the Manager of Regional Economics and Housing Finance Policy. He focuses on regional and local market trends found in the Local Market Reports and the Market Watch Reports . He also writes on developments in the mortgage industry and foreclosures.