The unemployment numbers are in for 2011 for January. It shows pretty consistent. We’ve fluctuated between 11% and 10%, with a low of 9.8% in December of 2010. It shows pretty much the same stability, with typical losses in construction and manufacturing, but stabilization in overall unemployment. The trend seems to be going in improvement, which hopefully unemployment numbers toward the end of 2011 can be closer to 8% or lower and continue that trend to create more jobs in our area. This is obviously directly connected to the overall housing values. The theory is that if you have a job, you’re going to want to buy a house, so obviously my opinion is that the overall job picture is directly connected to home prices and home values. Once we can stabilize that and show improvement there based on supply and demand you should show great improvement in values. Worst-case scenario, there will be stabilization. I believe in the third and fourth quarter of 2011 due to the stuff happening with Boeing and the Everett area we should see strength in unemployment and continue that trend for more jobs.
NMLS # 70269
Sr. VA Loan Specialist