Unemployment rate declines in August

The unemployment rate improved during the month of August, which could provide Americans with the financial safety and soundness they need to make major investments, such as purchasing property.

The unemployment rate improved during the month of August, which could provide Americans with the financial safety and soundness they need to make major investments, such as purchasing property.

Last month, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent, down from 8.2 percent in July, according to a report from the Department of Labor. This shift was spurred after companies expanded payrolls by an estimated 96,000 positions. Despite the change, roughly 12.5 million Americans were thought to still be unemployed or underemployed. 

Although the unemployment rate improved, some experts believe uncertainties throughout the job market will hold the real estate industry back from a quicker recovery for quite some time. 

"Housing is pulling itself off the mat, but can't shoulder the weight of the entire jobs market recovery that is plagued by weak consumer confidence and tattered household financials, and the challenges of our major trading partners overseas," Collingwood Group partner and managing director Tim Rood said.

But many of the newly-created jobs are low-paying, according to a report from the National Employment Law Project. Currently, low-waged positions and expanding nearly three-times as quickly as mid- and high-paying jobs. This could leave prospective buyers with limited options when they want to purchase property, despite mortgage rates that have remained below 4 percent for all but one week so far this year.   

Further, the economy is growing at a slower pace than desired, which could prevent employers from creating additional opportunities in the future.

Industry professionals confident, but jobs still a concern

Nearly 80 percent of the nation's top real estate brokerage executives are more confident in the housing market today then they were at the beginning of the year, according to a survey conducted by Imprev Thought Leader.

However, a similar share feel a lack of job creation is the biggest factor hindering housing activity. In addition, others believe threats to mortgage interest deduction and negative equity will also be major factors than will determine the future of the housing market.

Meanwhile, two out of three respondents feel housing will continue to build momentum during the next 12 months. This could result in appreciating property values, additional home sales and increased lending activity.



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