Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Some Recovery but Unemployment Still on the Rise

In an update on economic indicators this morning, we got a mixed bag. For example, the number of home sales in Montgomery County has increased in 2009, especially in recent months, but average sales prices have decreased. Both trends are expected to continue into 2010.

Consistent with national numbers, unemployment in the County has continued to increase, reaching an all-time high of 5.7 percent in June of this year. Prior to 2009, Montgomery County saw its highest rate of unemployment in 1992 when the rate was 3.6 percent.

While we’re optimistic about some of the indicators, such as the declining amount of time homes are on the market, employment remains a huge challenge. Because the unemployment rate is a lagging indicator in terms of an economic recovery, it may not improve significantly over the next calendar year.

Although our unemployment rate remains well below the national average, I continue to put jobs at the top of my list of priorities right now. Do you have any good ideas for creating and maintaining jobs in the County? I’d love to hear them. To learn more about the economic indicators, see today’s Council background packet.

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