Friday, April 01, 2011

The Housing Market's Problem

Yes, the unemployment rate is falling. Slowly. This morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate declined to 8.8 percent in March, down from 8.9 percent in February. We may be on the road to recovery, but our progress is blocked by what has been destroyed: confidence. The average American worker feels much less secure in his job than he did a few years ago. The percentage who think there is no chance they could lose their job in the next year, as shown in the post below, fell from 71 to 52 percent between 2000 and 2010, according to the General Social Survey.

This insecurity might be good news for businesses that want to hold down wages. But it is a disaster for the housing market. With the threat of unemployment looming over them, how many will be brave enough to buy a house? Apparently, not many.

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