Lee Counties unemployment numbers that were just released shows 9.5%……..down from the prior month of 9.8%. That number in itself does not show any significant change, however the real number to look at is the one from the same time period last year…….. it was 11.5%.
Collier Counties new unemployment number is 9.6%, down from the prior month of 9.7%. Their number a year ago was 11.6%.
Charlotte Counties just released number is 9.3% and remained steady from the prior month. Their number a year ago was 11.2%.
In Lee county, the job’s improvement came from the private sector with additions of around 800 new job’s in private education, retail, and the health services segment. Also the return of some 2400 public school employees made an impact. Also to note, as we enter the winter snow bird season, is the Port Authority and Airport Terminal Services which already employs 110 gate and ramp agents, hired 42 new part-time positions just this week. No doubt the expected return of our winter population had a key factor in those hirings.
Whats ahead for job’s……..October usually brings an increase in full-time positions to our many tourist related service job’s such as waiters, servers, bus help needed by area restaurants. Retail and especially wholesale operations, also beef up in October for the upcoming holiday shopping season. The entertainment segment of our economy, like theme parks, movie theaters, Zoomers, Barbara B. Mann, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, and local Nature Centers, all add part-time staff starting in mid-October……and the big box stores like Wal-Mart and Target, also account for increases in their mostly part-time work force…….driving the unemployment number even lower.
Real Estate sale’s also spike up during the next 6 1/2 month’s with winter buyers picking up remaining bargains. While we hit the bottom in prices in the fall of 2011, there still are some really good deals still to be had!! Right now the home values have gained some $30,000 in value [in some price brackets] over 2011 figures, with the upward trend still continuing this year.
Cash transactions still dominate the market as sellers are reluctant to enter into a finance contingency contract, due to the risks involved. [So far for 2012, only 55-60% of all mortgage loans to purchase in Lee County, result in a closing.]
One problem local Realtors are experiencing, is the extremely low home inventory levels. We traditionally see an uptick in inventory levels during snow bird season, and are holding our breath, that this tradition occurs again this year!!.