Florida Jobs Increase in April
May 24, 2010

April’s unemployment figures provide more evidence that Florida’s job losses may have bottomed out in January, and that a long, slow recovery is in its initial stages.

For one thing, Florida’s unemployment rate declined from 12.3% in March to 12.0% in April.  In addition, the state added an estimated 15,500 jobs in April.

In January, jobs in Florida totaled over 900,000 fewer than in March 2007, when the state’s jobs slide began.  Since the end of January, though, about 37,000 new jobs have been added – compared to increases of 100,000-200,000 jobs per year during the height of Florida’s boom in the mid-2000s.

As might be expected, jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry rose in April – although they still remain lower than in April 2009.  Over the past year, the only employment sectors to show significant job growth have been private education and health services, led by ambulatory healthcare services.

Tags: jobs
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Homeowner Costs Signaled Florida’s Foreclosure Problems
May 7, 2010

In the early stages of the recession, Florida ranked third among the 50 states in the percent of homeowners with mortgages who spend 30% or more of their household income on selected monthly ownership costs (mortgage, taxes, and insurance).1 Historically, a 30% cost of ownership has been viewed as the appropriate cost burden. However, in 2008, 49.1% of all home mortgage owners in Florida spent 30% or more of their income on selected ownership cost.2

Interestingly, Florida ranked fourth among states in the number of foreclosures.3 There appears to be a relationship between the percent of population that spends 30% or more of their income on housing costs and the percent of homes that are in foreclosure.  Indeed, when housing data from the 50 states are plotted, the national trend is indicative of this relationship as shown in the chart below.  







1Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2008 American Community Survey

2U.S. Foreclosure Market Report: Q1, 2009.

3Foreclosure is defined as all documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default — Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank).

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March Job Loss Was Small Compared to Worst of Recession
April 30, 2010

Although Florida lost an estimated 4,000 jobs in March, the slight decline provides further hope that the state is poised for job growth in the months ahead.

The decline came after an estimated increase of 26,300 jobs in February – the first significant hike since Florida’s jobs total began dropping three years ago.  Less than a year ago, the Florida economy was shedding tens of thousands of jobs each month, so a 4,000-job decline looks relatively good in comparison and in a state with 7,181,000 nonfarm jobs.

About 63,000 Floridians will begin working in census jobs over the next six months, both full- and part-time, providing a boost to the total number of jobs in the state.

The Sunshine State has lost more than 900,000 jobs since March 2007.  It’s expected to take four years or more before Florida replaces that many jobs.

Tags: jobs
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