Job + housing woes: Double trouble

Marketplace Staff Apr 6, 2010
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Job + housing woes: Double trouble

Marketplace Staff Apr 6, 2010
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Steve Chiotakis: A new indicator of economic misery comes out today. Researchers at the Urban Institute call it “double trouble.” Places hit by high unemployment and the housing bust. Marketplace’s Brett Neely has more.


Brett Neely: Some American cities have high unemployment or falling house prices. But double trouble cities have both, says American University economist Bob Lerman:

Bob Lerman: They average a 28 percent decline in home prices and a 7 percent decline in employment.

Every major city in Florida and most in California are on the list. There, construction and real estate jobs disappeared when the housing bubble burst. But in places like Michigan and Ohio, factories closed. Workers willing to migrate can’t sell their houses.

Lerman says the government’s cookie-cutter foreclosure programs don’t cut it:

Lerman: The strategies on housing are independent of whether the declines took place in the aftermath of very big run-ups in prices or whether the declines are part of a longer-term trend.

He says policymakers should offer customized help. Otherwise, recovery will be slow.

In Washington, I’m Brett Neely for Marketplace.

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